Japan Remains on High Alert for Heatstroke as Hospitalization Cases ContinueEnvironment Lifestyle Society
Japan is still enduring the sweltering heat of summer; Fire and Disaster Management Agency statistics show that the number of people needing emergency transportation to the hospital because of heatstroke has been at a high level since July. More than 10,000 people were rushed to hospital in both the last week of July and the first week of August.
There was an average of 1,295 annual deaths from heatstroke over the last five years until 2022. More than 80% of those cases involved seniors aged over 65, who tend to be less able to regulate their body temperature. The most common place for deaths caused by heatstroke, surprisingly, was indoors, such as residences, and around 90% of those who died had either not been using or did not own an air-conditioner. It is important in hot weather to use air-conditioning properly as well as to make sure to keep replenishing one’s intake of water and salt before starting to feel thirsty.
The Ministry of the Environment and Japan Meteorological Agency issue heatstroke alerts to prompt people to take preventative action when the weather conditions make the risk of heatstroke extremely high. If an alert is issued, one should take more precautions than usual to prevent heatstroke, including using air-conditioning both day and night, avoiding going out unless necessary, and canceling or postponing any sports activities. It is also important to pay close attention to any elderly people, children, and people with disabilities around one.
The Japan Tourism Agency provides a safety information app. As well as information about earthquakes and tsunami, it can send out notifications when a heatstroke alert is issued.
(Translated from Japanese. Banner image © Pixta.)