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Elderly, more vulnerable to heat risks

By Ernesto Delgado

LEGAZPI CITY --- The dry season has caused soaring temperatures in the Philippines, scorching several areas of Visayas and Luzon for the past several days. The heat index reached dangerous levels in Mimaropa, Bicol, and Western Visayas regions.

If you’re over 65, taking high temperatures seriously is important. Older adults are at a higher risk for heat-related illnesses as their bodies lose the ability to regulate their temperature with age, Joseph Steven Fenol, health promotion chief at the Department of Health Bicol Center for Health Development, warned during the Ugnayan sa Bicol.

Moreover, high temperatures and high humidity can exacerbate pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension and heart, lung, and kidney disorders, according to Fenol.

To prevent heat-related illnesses, it’s important to take precautions to protect the senior citizens. Here are some tips from Fenol to stay safe during extremely hot periods:

• Stay home/cool indoors: Stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible, especially between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the temperature is at its peak.

• Drink plenty of fluids: Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day, even if you are not physically active. Do not wait until you feel thirsty to hydrate.

• Take your maintenance medicines every day.

• Practice relaxation techniques.

• Schedule outdoor activities carefully. Try to limit your outdoor activities carefully to when it’s coolest, like morning and evening hours.

Pagasa also recorded dangerous heat indices in Iba, Zambales; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Puerto Princesa City and Aborlan, Palawan; Dumangas, Iloilo; Pasay City in Metro Manila, Sangley Point, Cavite; Calapan, Oriental Mindoro; Coron, Palawan; Tuguegarao City, Cagayan; Masbate City, Masbate; Pili, Camarines Sur; Mambusao, Capiz; and Zamboanga City.

The state weather agency said 42°C to 51°C heat indices are considered a “danger category” and could lead to heat-related ailments such as heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and even heat stroke with prolonged exposure.

Heat index measures the discomfort level an average person experiences due to the combined effects of temperature and air humidity.

Warning signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses include sweating heavily, exhaustion, dizziness, and vomiting.

“Let’s stay safe and stress-free by following reminders,” Fenol said. (PIA5)

ELDERLY individuals are relaxing at the seaside in Masbate City to escape the sweltering heat in their homes. (Contributed photo/Jamon Espares)


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