As Cyprus braces itself for another heat wave, local authorities on Wednesday issued an Orange Warning alert indicating an increased likelihood of weather conditions being a potential risk to life and property. Within this context, the Health Services have advised parents of small children and infants to adhere to the following preventative measures:
- Keep out of direct sunlight especially between 11am-4pm, choose shaded areas and wear light and loose fitting clothes. Make use of a hat, umbrella or other means to keep the head covered.
- Avoid intense outdoor games and activities under direct sunlight and especially areas recording high temperatures and humidity levels.
- Pay special attention to the nutritional needs of children. It is recommended that children drink plenty of liquids and especially water and fresh fruit juice. It is also recommended that they eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and to avoid eating fatty foods.
- Regular lukewarm showers.
- It is recommended that children stay in environments with air-conditioning or with fans (preferably ceiling fans).
- High temperatures are often related to high levels of atmospheric pollution. In such cases children should remain indoors and avoid going outdoors. It is also advisable that under these conditions, children avoid intense activities which could cause irritation of the respiratory tract and subsequently lead to respiratory problems.
- Do not under any circumstances leave children and especially infants in a car. Temperatures in cars can rise to dangerous levels in a matter of minutes even if the windows are open.
Children and infants belong into what is considered a vulnerable group of the population and who are extremely sensitive to high temperatures. Special care is needed for children who suffer from chronic illnesses such as heart, kidney, respiratory and liver diseases as well as diabetes.