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Let's Learn about Heatstroke

Heatstroke Prevention and Response Strategies

Depending on the circumstances, anyone can be at risk of heatstroke, at any time, and in any location. However, heatstroke is preventable, provided that you are familiar with the basic prevention techniques and maintain an appropriate level of awareness. There is a particularly strong risk of developing heatstroke if the temperature rises suddenly in early summer, at the end of the early summer rainy season and the beginning of the school summer holidays, when people's bodies have not yet adjusted to the heat. Take care not to over-exert yourself, and give your body time to gradually acclimatize to the summer heat.

Strategy1
Don't let the heat stop you from continuing to keep yourself fit throughout the hot season.

In order to prevent heatstroke, it is important for you to be in good physical condition, able to withstand the heat. Starting from when the temperature begins to rise in early summer, you should try to make sure that you get a reasonable amount of exercise every day, eat appropriately, and get plenty of sleep.

Experts' Advice

  • Make sure that you drink water frequently

    Don't just wait until you feel thirsty; keep drinking water at frequent intervals. Beverages such as sport drinks that contain sodium and sugar make it easier to absorb water, and help you to replenish the sodium that you lose through perspiration.

  • Make sure that you absorb a reasonable amount of sodium

    You don't need an excessive amount of sodium, but try to make sure that you are getting enough through your daily food intake. It is particularly important to replenish your sodium levels if you have been sweating heavily. However, if your doctor has told you that you need to restrict the amount of water or salt that you ingest, then discuss the matter with your doctor, and follow his or her instructions.

  • Make sure that you get good-quality sleep

    If you use water-absorbent bedding that can "breathe," and create a suitable sleeping environment by making appropriate use of air conditioners and fans, then not only can you avoid suffering heatstroke while you are asleep, being well-rested will also help to protect you from heatstroke during the daytime too.

  • Keep your body strong and fit

    Try to keep your body in good condition by eating a balanced diet and getting plenty of sleep. It is important to manage your physical condition so that you create a body that is resistant to heatstroke.

Strategy2
Make an effort to protect yourself from the heat in your daily life

With a little bit of extra care and attention in your daily life, you can mitigate the impact of hot weather. By maintaining a comfortable temperature through appropriate use of air conditioning, and by paying attention to what clothes you wear, you can reduce the risk of developing heatstroke. Using sunshades and blinds can protect you from direct sunlight. It is important to get into the habit of regularly monitoring the risk of heatstroke in the environment you are in.

  • Be aware of the temperature and the humidity all the time

    Try to maintain awareness of the temperature and humidity in the environment you are in at any given time. If you are indoors, you can prevent it from getting too hot and humid by blocking out direct sunlight and making sure the interior is well ventilated.

  • Keep the interior of your house cool

    Keep the temperature down at a reasonable level by using electric fans and air conditioning units. Don't worry too much about saving electricity, and don't try to tough it out thinking "I can cope with this level of heat."

  • Make sure you wear the right clothes

    You can regulate how hot you feel by wearing the right kind of clothes. Try to wear clothes made from material that "breathes," like linen or cotton, and choose underwear made from water-absorbent, quick-drying materials.

  • Shield yourself from strong sunlight

    Try to shield yourself from direct sunlight by wearing a hat or using an umbrella. Try to walk in the shade, and if possible perform outdoor activities in the shade.

  • Make use of "cooling products"

    Try to make use of "cooling products" such as cool-seats, cooling-scarves, ice-packs, etc. A wide range of products are available, from items that you can use on a daily basis to products to help you get off to sleep on hot summer nights. Incidentally, cooling areas such as your neck and throat, where there are large blood vessels close to the skin, is an effective way to reduce your body temperature.

Heatstroke Facts

If you know not just what the maximum forecast temperature is for today, but also how the temperature and humidity are expected to change over the course of the day, and what the indoor temperature and humidity will be like, then you can prevent heatstroke more effectively.
Knowing what the environment is like in the place where you are now is very important for preventing heatstroke. The state your body is in also has a major impact on whether you develop heatstroke. Try to be sensitive to the condition of your own body, by being aware of your environment and being aware of your body.

Strategy3
Take action to protect yourself in situations and locations that require special care

When playing sports under the hot sun, or when working in an environment with no air conditioning, it is very important to take action to protect yourself from the danger of heatstroke. Make sure that you stay hydrated and replenish your sodium intake, and take frequent breaks.

  • Remember to carry something to drink around with you

    Whenever you leave the house, take a water bottle or something else to drink with you, so that you can keep yourself properly hydrated.

  • Take frequent breaks

    When engaged in an activity where you are in an environment exposed to heat or direct sunlight, be sure to take frequent breaks, and don't over-exert yourself.

  • Monitor the "Heatstroke Index"

    Be aware of the level of heatstroke risk, by using a portable heatstroke monitor or checking the "Heatstroke Index" on television on the Internet.

Heatstroke Facts

The Japan Weather Association (JWA) has been implementing a number of measures to help prevent heatstroke, including the issuing of a "Heatstroke Index," the explaining of heatstroke by weather forecasters, the development of portable heatstroke monitors, etc. Heatstroke can be prevented through awareness. Take responsibility for protecting yourself; let's all work together to bring the number of cases of heatstroke down to zero, so as to protect both our own health and the health of the people who are important to us.