Prolonged physical exertion and exposure to the sun are already risk factors for heatstroke. The increasing temperature at daytime doubles that risk, so continued hydration is essential, according to the Department of Health.

The Health agency has advised young athletes participating in the national sports event Palarong Pambansa 2017 to double fluid intake and drink even when not thirsty to keep from being dehydrated and worse, suffer from heatstroke.

“Because of the very hot weather, we need to drink more water than the [usual] 8 to 12 glasses. Even if we are not thirsty, we should drink water every 15 minutes,” Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial reminded participants.

She said heat stroke is a common concern during the summer games, because the risk increases in hot and humid conditions, coupled with physical exertion.

Symptoms of heat stroke include headache, high fever, convulsion, unconsciousness and a rapid heatbeat.

Prior to the start of the games on April 23, the DOH had said it will closely monitor food preparations and sources of drinking water for the athlete participants.

It sent a regional team for monitor the preparations for the Palaro beforehand and a filtration unit for the water source has been installed, according to Dr Elvie Villalobos, head of the Infectious Disease and Environmental Cluster of the DOH.

Guidelines have likewise been issued to the event organizers to ensure safe sources of food and water. Servers and caterers brought by the delegates themselves were oriented on food safety.

The sporting event takes place from April 23 to April 28 in Antique, Western Visayas.

Some 12,000 elementary and secondary student athletes from 18 regions competing in 21 regular sports were expected in the event organized by the Department of Education.

Up for grabs are 376 gold and silver medals, and 487 bronze medals in sports that include basketball, volleyball, tennis, table tennis, gymnastics, football, boxing, wushu, archery and athletics.

Health officials also reminded the Education department to ensure adequate hydration for the athletes.

For people not engaged in strenuous physical activities like the participants, the DOH likewise advised that taking adequate fluids - water is best - is necessary to avoid heatstroke. Ideally, drinking a glass of water every hour during the hot weather is necessary to prevent dehydration and heatstroke. MIMS

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