Health Ministry warns of dangers of extreme heat today and tomorrow

Renee Ghert-Zand is the health reporter and a feature writer for The Times of Israel.

Illustrative: View of the sun over Tel Aviv. January 29, 2024. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Illustrative: View of the sun over Tel Aviv. January 29, 2024. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The Health Ministry warns that the extreme heat forecast for today and tomorrow throughout the country could lead to dangers for the population.

The elderly and people with chronic illnesses are especially at risk and should stay out of the heat and sun, refrain from physical activity, drink plenty of water and stay in air-conditioned spaces if possible. The elderly, people with chronic illnesses and children under age four are the most vulnerable to heat stroke.

People who must be outside in the sun should wear a wide-brimmed hat, comfortable light-colored clothing, and use high-SPF sunscreen. Drivers should pull off the road into a rest area or gas station periodically to rest and refresh.

The ministry reminds people not to leave babies, children, elderly individuals or disabled individuals in parked cars, where they can suffer life-threatening heat stroke within minutes. In addition, animals should not be left in cars or hot buildings without plenty of water.

It is recommended not to hike outside in the current weather conditions. If one does go hiking or for a trip, one should take the proper precautions, including leaving information on the planned route with someone at home and contacting Magen David Adom immediately if anyone in the party develops signs of heat stroke.

Signs of heat stroke include: A body temperature of 39.5 degrees Celsius or higher; red, hot and dry skin (not sweaty); a quick pulse; a strong headache or pounding in the head; dizziness; nausea; confusion or reduced consciousness.

While waiting for MDA to arrive, a person in this condition should be moved to a cool, shaded place. They should not be given water or any other liquids by mouth while waiting for emergency medical services.

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