24 August 2002
9 Points to Note While Hiking in Hot Weather
With a view to arouse public awareness of the potential dangers of hiking, especially for hiking activities in hot weather, the Hong Kong Medical Association has prepared an information leaflet entitled "9 Points to Note While Hiking in Hot Weather", with the Agriculture, Fishery & Conservation Department late 2001. These information could be very useful even for experienced hikers :
Avoid hiking in very hot weather.
Do not go hiking alone in difficult or remote areas. It is always safer to hike as a group.
Be well prepared for the walk. Assess the duration and the degree of difficulty of the walk. Ask experienced hikers or consult a detailed map beforehand.
Bring enough water. If you are not sure about how much will be needed, it is always better to err on the safe side and carry more. Not every part of the countryside in Hong Kong has shops that sell water and drinks.
In hot weather, drink water frequently. If you sweat a lot, drink water even if you are not thirsty.
Even healthy and fit people can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Avoid dehydration and prolonged exposure under the sun. In hot weather, a good hat and other sun protection devices are essential. A light umbrella will protect against harmful UV light as well as reducing overheating.
If you feel dizzy, exhausted or experience a rapid heartbeat, tell your companions immediately and take some remedial actions. These may be the first sign of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Many people attribute these to low blood sugar and this may delay the treatment.
In case of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, you should take measures to bring your body temperature down immediately and replace water loss. Rest under the shade of tree, rocks or other structures. An umbrella will also provide good sun shelter. Drink a lot of water. If possible, pour some water over your face and neck.
If a person is getting drowsy or weak, enlist help immediately. If a mobile phone is available, try to summon aid and state your location as accurately as possible. The distance post on the country trails is a very good marker for the rescue workers. If mobile phone service is not available, get two persons to go for help and leave the rest of the team to take care of the affected person.
You're welcomed to contact the HKMA Secretariat Office or the respective office of the Agriculture, Fishery & Conservation Department to obtain hard copies of the leaflet for distribution.
Notes to editors:
The Hong Kong Medical Association, founded in 1920, aims to bring together Hong Kong's government, institutional, university and private medical practitioners for an effective exchange of views and co-ordination of efforts. The foremost objective of the Association is to safeguard and promote public health. The Association speaks collectively for its members and aims to keep its members abreast of medical ethics, issues and advances around the world. In fulfilling these goals, the association hopes to better serve the people of Hong Kong.
Enquiries : Miss NY Leung Tel:
Home Page : http://www.hkma.org
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