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12 people suffer heatstroke in Kanto

57 Comments

Twelve people on Wednesday were taken to hospitals in the Kanto area be treated for heatstroke as temperatures soared in the aftermath of Tuesday's typhoon.

The Japan Meteorological Agency said that mercury reached 34 degrees in Hachioji, 32.4 in Kofu and 30.2 degrees in central Tokyo. One woman in Kawasaki fell into a coma, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Last year at this time, the number of heatstroke cases shot up as many air-conditioners were switched off amid an energy-saving campaign following the Fukushima nuclear disaster. More than 13,000 people were rushed to hospital by ambulance in June and for the first half of July, data from the Fire and Disaster Management Agency showed. Twenty-six of them died.

The agency is once again urging people to take safeguards against heatstroke, by drinking plenty of water, sleeping on a wet pillow and using the air conditioner, if necessary.

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57 Comments
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Black hair always attracts insane heat the moment you step outside. Mine is like that. Wear a hat, drink water. It's not that hard.

-2 ( +2 / -3 )

My wife always uses a heat and UV reflecting umbrella and carries a cold of iced water or green tea. Last year, I had heat stroke 3 times, once quite badly. I will try to avoid this summer.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Wearing a hat is important as well as drinking water and or sports drinks is fine, but you also want to wear sunglasses, the bright sun causes a lot of stress around the eyes, putting a lot of pressure on the eye muscles under the eye (pre-mature wrinkles) not to mention the increase of cataracts. Also, I know we have beaten this topic like a dead horse in the past, but wearing heavy layers of clothes long sleeved shirts, scarves, body armor and heavy gloves is not helpful especially in 32 degree weather, try and dress down. I know women in Japan have this skin phobia, but what is more important, looking good, being the envy of others or laying in a hospital room after a heatstroke with an IV stuck in your arm wondering "huh, how did I get here?" the drinking hot tea and only tea is ok, but NOT one of the best drinks I would recommend. Find lots of shade, use a fan and if you have AC (I sure do) use it.

0 ( +3 / -4 )

Stay home drink beer and water, watch TV is best.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

...wearing heavy layers of clothes long sleeved shirts, scarves, body armor and heavy gloves is not helpful especially in 32 degree weather, try and dress down. I know women in Japan have this skin phobia, but what is more important, looking good, being the envy of others or...

There are UV blocking fabrics out there for those of us who want to shield from the sun and not have to wear something hot and bulky. Great stuff, comes in light colors too. I personally think it's alright for those women to wear that, considering that they are avoiding skin cancer and premature aging...

The sunglasses, i thought that was obvious. Thanks for pointing that out :)

A/C can be tricky, depending on how sensible a person is. I never get colds in the winter, but the summer can be awful. I can be hot and sweaty from being outside, and then i come in and it's absolutely freezing... being wet and cold sucks, and getting sick from that is even worse. No one needs to make the indoors feel like the morgue, it's what causes power outages shakes head

-1 ( +2 / -2 )

I know some people like to laugh at women in their long gloves and big hats, but for me it is a necessity. My weak northern European skin does not cope well in this climate, and I have to protect it. Its just the sensible thing to do. My Canadian best friend who also lives here has already had 3 skin cancers removed, mostly from her head. The sun beats through her fine blonde hair right to the skin. I would rather be laughed at than go through painful biopsies and surgeries. I just turn Dracula for the Summer and only come out at night!

Sunscreen is all well and good, but full of chemicals and you cant put it on your hair.

So you will find me dolled up like a beekeeper most of Summer and carrying a water bottle! I also love those scarves you can buy now that you put gel packs from the freezer into. I have had a few old biddies in past years telling me off for drinking on the street or on the train (just water!) because it is not polite (apparently) but I just politely ignore them now.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

WTH, we didn't get above 15C yesterday and that is the same high temp for today. Damn Yamase wind. Tohoku can't get a break.

Enjoy it! The heat in the city is not pleasant!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@OHGhontoni - let the old biddies tell you off. i think walking around with a water bottle is one of the smartest things a person can do in the japanese summer sticky heat. they are the ones who are impolite when they fall over in front of us.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I still see businessmen with jackets and ties on feverishly mopping their brows.

No doubt it will be the same as previous years with the school children going on runs in scorching temperatures causing heatstroke etc

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Watch the alcohol intake. Sorry to bring it up people. My colleague collapsed and fell onto the tracks - doctors warned him about getting trousered in the heat. Thankfulky, he was ok. Keep the water coming and don't care about pedantic biddies who really need a new hobby.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

sleeping on a wet pillow

Hello mold spores!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I take 2 bottles of mugi-cha to work now. One to put in the freezer for later while enjoying the other. Frozen drinks (tea, sports drinks) could be bought at any conbini now. If you need to stay out on a hot day, get one. You can hug it, cool your head with it, and finally, drink it!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Unbelievable! Was it hot yesterday? It was warm, but definitely not hot. Gonna be a long hard summer for many people. And, stop drinking that bloody green tea rubbish. It is a diuretic and will dehydrate you.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

I made the mistake of going back to Kobe in mid-Summer a few years ago.(it was mid-Winter back home). Think it was supposed to be the hottest (most humid) Summer in 38 years?

Not so bad for me if I acclimatize over time. Anyway, I carried a fan (sensu) and damp tenugui and water/tea when outdoors, it helped a fair bit. You can buy all kinds of cooling cloths at Tokkyu Hands and outdoor stores, etc which retain moisture and cool you down a lot.

What didn't help was hiking in Kyushu a few days after getting off the plane. But I took plenty of water and there were some places where drinkable water was available (waterfalls and streams etc). Plus they're good to spash water on yourself which helps a lot too.

Thankfully I come from somewhere where it gets pretty hot so I don't feel the heat as much as somebody from a colder country but it was pretty hot all the same. Better to be safe than sorry - drink lots and make an effort to lower your body temperature whenever possible.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And, stop drinking that bloody green tea rubbish. It is a diuretic and will dehydrate you.

VERY good point disillusioned. My husband and mother in law try to press that drink on the kids in Summer and get annoyed with me when I tell them not to. Believe it or not they dont even believe me when I tell them it is full of caffeine! They tell me western tea and coffee is, but Japanese green tea isnt! Grrrr! Mugi cha is ok though, but I always think it smells and tastes a bit like an ashtray!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I think it's easier for adults to take care of themselves. I worry about the kids who play outside too long unsupervised. And kids who go to school that don't have a/c (mine included).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hello mold spores!

Yeah that was the first thing that sprang to my mind too, along with a stiff neck from a combo of wet pillow and aircon. Given the state that bathrooms get into here with damp and heat, I certainly wont be creating the same conditions on my pillow. Eugh!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

One reason I like typhoons up here in Hokkaido is that we usually get warm winds from them after they passed Honshu. This is the first time that I remember that we are getting cold winds which made me wear my down vest. I can't believe this heat in Honshu. So far, I have only worn a T-Shirt once.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We usually keep some soft "ice-packs" in the freezer. When it gets really hot, the kids get one wrapped in a towel to put on their pillow at night.

They are also really good if someone gets a heat stroke. Stuff them around the neck, under your arms and between your legs (Where the major veins/arteries are close to the surface skin). It cools the blood down quickly.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

It wasn't unbearably hot yesterday. It is always the case of people assuming they'll be fine and not looking after themselves. Happen every year this time of year because people think on July and August are really hot. Darwinism, really.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Was it hot yesterday? It was warm, but definitely not hot.

It was 36 degrees celcius in Kumagaya yesterday at around 3pm. If you consider that warm, so be it. I was in Saitama on business, and the air was stifling.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Temperature 93 - 100 Florida has 100% - 120% humidity - Rarely old people go to the hospital in Florida or heat stroke.

Every year it's the same thing.

It's just stupidity and the idiocy of working outside in the yard during 11am - 3pm.

Or the stupidity of not turning on the AC when to room exceeds 38*. Get a fan or turn on the AC when it's hot.

GET A CLUE

If you have any doubt, when you do doubt than the doubt is over !!!!!!!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

It was 36 degrees celcius in Kumagaya yesterday at around 3pm.

It doesn't start to get hot till it passes 40' where I come from. 36' is normal summer temp for me. People just have to consider the consequences of not looking after themsleves in the heat. Oh, and by the way, it was only hot for a short time yesterday. Most of the day it was only around 30', which is not hot.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

@OHGhontoni I miss the mild tohoku summers! The city is like a concrete hotbox!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Omghontoni, Not to get off topic,but some helpful info. The caffeine in Japanese Green Tea is different than Black or Coffee because it is not fermented.Probably a healthy choice as opposed to heavily sugared drinks.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Global warming is real.

1 ( +5 / -3 )

I guess it depends where you were yesterday. In Tokyo it was scorching hot but with the still quite strong winds it was bearable. Great day to do laundry! I wonder what those 12 people were doing to get a heatstroke. Common sense CAN prevent a lot of incidents/accidents, people!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wearing long black sleeves and a huge black visor must surely help

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Rarely old people go to the hospital in Florida or heat stroke.

Because every where you go in Florida they air condition enough that stores hotels, etc are the same temp as meat lockers. I've never experienced air conditioning like that anywhere else.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My aging parents live in Florida and when the ac goes on, it stays on. It probably helps that their power bills are only about 50% of those here in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I thought it was quite a bit cooler in Osaka after the typhoon. I'm curious, though, as to the ages of the people and what they were doing to get heatstroke. Usually you hear of kids in the school yard drilling for sports day, or elderly people collapsing out in vegetable fields.

Anyway, I can't imagine sleeping with a wet pillow. Nonetheless... be as safe as you can, people. If you need to turn on that air-con for a short time, do so (maybe at a higher than normal temp?).

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am a doctor. Heat stroke is always caused by a diet lacking salt.

The article should have advised people to drink plenty of sea salt water and salt their food with extra sea salt. 99% of the people who die from heat stroke are people on a low salt diet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Scorching hot?? In Tokyo?? Some people here are just way too pampered!! Where I come from it cools down to 30 degrees in the middle of WINTER so this is NOT SCORCHING, heck last night it was even a BIT COLD having the windows open and quite strong cool winds were blowing in my part of TOKYO, so if you think this is scorching you will end up en the hospital or worse if you are not used to this heat and HUMIDITY, because in Tokyo the HUMIDITY is what kills you.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I worked from age 14 to 18 as a farm worker, for $1. a day in the desert. We ate salt tables 4 times a day, plus drank water every 15 minutes. Wear a hat, take lunch in the shade from 12 to 2. Do not drink alcohol. I would bet those who died were drinking alcohol or sugar drinks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It probably helps that their power bills are only about 50% of those here in Japan.

Amen to that, zichi.

Although I will not hesitate to turn on the ac in hot, humid weather, I dread the power bill.

I wish in a place such as this, where the summer heat can be oppressive, new , less expensive power options were available!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Meditation can help Japanese. Sit some where breath in and out slowly catch every breathing.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I am a doctor. Heat stroke is always caused by a diet lacking salt. The article should have advised people to drink plenty of sea salt water and salt their food with extra sea salt. 99% of the people who die from heat stroke are people on a low salt diet.

Im sorry but if you really are a doctor (which l doubt based on your recommendations) then you would know not to drink sea water as it actually increases dehydration. If you do indeed drink sea water you need to also drink a larger volume of fresh water to counter the negative effects of the sea water. By all means increase salt levels but not through drinking sea water. Also dont drink alcohol, eat fatty or sugary foods. Wear a hat and have a damp towel or similar cooling device around your neck. And the easiest prevention is avoid hard activity in the hottest sunniest part of the day

0 ( +3 / -3 )

pamelot, I read Sanyo are making ac powered by solar power but it will all depend on the price of the units which in Japan are also much more expensive than in America. $2,000 here for an eco ac unit?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Am comfortable using the central AC and swimming in my pool.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

@honey:

Omghontoni, Not to get off topic,but some helpful info. The caffeine in Japanese Green Tea is different than Black or Coffee because it is not fermented.Probably a healthy choice as opposed to heavily sugared drinks.

Interesting. Never knew that! Knew it was a healthy choice as opposed to sugary drinks though. They are well known to dehydrate you more.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Cletus,

I think that what the doctor meant was actually to drink water in which you have dissolved sea salt, not the sea water itself. Probably he used "sea salt" as an adjective to modify the water which contains some sea salt.

It seems that sometimes English can be あいまい ;-)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I know some people like to laugh at women in their long gloves and big hats, but for me it is a necessity. My weak northern European skin does not cope well in this climate, and I have to protect it. Its just the sensible thing to do. My Canadian best friend who also lives here has already had 3 skin cancers removed, mostly from her head. The sun beats through her fine blonde hair right to the skin. I would rather be laughed at than go through painful biopsies and surgeries. I just turn Dracula for the Summer and only come out at night!

I totally understand that, as a Northern European and or ginger, you need to be super careful and if you covered up, you get a pass, because you probably wouldn't tan, you would fry. However Japanese women don't have the same kind of skin, NOW that doesn't mean they don't need to take any precautions, but the panic that they have about the sun is a bit over the top.

But as I said, I still think this over covering up is way too much, my wife has great skin, she never covers up, she dresses very comfortably and lightly, but she never jumped on that band wagon. Also, like with everything else in Japan, I do think people get sucked into all this marketing scheme. Most other countries you don't see women covering up and these women are fine. What about the men, why you don't see them covering up? I love my skin too.

Sunscreen is all well and good, but full of chemicals and you cant put it on your hair.

There are a lot of products for your skin that aren't as harmful to your skin.

So you will find me dolled up like a beekeeper most of Summer and carrying a water bottle! I also love those scarves you can buy now that you put gel packs from the freezer into. I have had a few old biddies in past years telling me off for drinking on the street or on the train (just water!) because it is not polite (apparently) but I just politely ignore them now.

Yes, I ignore everyone when it comes to my health. If you get dehydrated, do what YOUR BODY tells you. Keep that bottle. If I don't have water, I like Gatorade. I brought from the states powdered Gatorade, so I also make a thermos of it and it always gets me through the summer. I tried the Japanese Gatorade, but it's too, too sweet for me. I try to avoid tea as long as I am outside and forget drinking hot tea in this stifling weather.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Heat stroke is always caused by a diet lacking salt.

Sorry, know you claim to be a doctor but with all due respect I disagree, and so do the CDC, Mayo clinic and numerous other professional websites. Heatstroke is caused by spending too long in the hot sun without adequate hydration causing the body temperature to rise to dangerous levels.

I get that low sodium levels are a factor (for example low sodium levels can cause the muscle cramps associated with heatstroke) but they are certainly not a cause, and advocating the use of salt tablets without proper medical supervision or a high salt diet as a sole preventative measure is irresponsible.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I totally understand that, as a Northern European and or ginger, you need to be super careful and if you covered up, you get a pass, because you probably wouldn't tan, you would fry. However Japanese women don't have the same kind of skin, NOW that doesn't mean they don't need to take any precautions, but the panic that they have about the sun is a bit over the top.

Agreed! I cant stand it in the Summer when someone in a big floppy hat, mask, sunnies, gloves up to the armpits waves at me and shouts a cheery greeting to me by name. Excuse my half-hearted reply. I am not being rude, I am wondering who the hell you are!

The Great Cover Up is actually becoming an problem in some parts of the world, for example Australia. There have been reports recently that researchers believe the constant fear of sun exposure is leading to a rise in low vit-D levels leading to premature osteoporosis. There has also been some (as yet unproven) research suggesting that low sun exposure for pregnant women can lead to a higher risk of MS for the baby in later years. This is based on growing evidence that MS is more prevalent in the more extreme northern climates (for example Scotland) and in adults born in Winter and early Spring months when Mothers-to-be were less likely to have experienced sun exposure. Everything in moderation it seems, including the sun!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Meditation can help Japanese. Sit some where breath in and out slowly catch every breathing.

Yep. Just do it in the shade, with a hat on, and drink plenty of water while you are doing it!

99% of the people who die from heat stroke are people on a low salt diet.

I seriously doubt that statistic. I would put money though, on 99% of victims being over 60 and working the fields in the hottest part of the day without adequate fluid replenishment, or under 10 and left alone in a car.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It should also be noted that the body will acclimate to the heat a lot easier if you do not use your air conditioner.

I think learning about heat acclimatisation is one of the biggest favors you can do your self if you are going to stay in Japan long time.

Read for example, this post by someone who moved from Germany to outback Australia for some pointers.

http://www.outback-australia-travel-secrets.com/moving-to-northern-territory-how-to-cope-with-the-heat.html

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/14/the-worlds-most-efficient-air-conditioner/

Short of it:

-Don't use the air-con (But don't quit cold turkey on the Hottest day).

-Drink plenty of water (Bananas or whatever for electrolytes).

-Don't over-exert yourself,

-"Exercise" moderately. Moving your body makes the blood flow to the skin increase, and that helps it cool.

-Avoid the sun, use a hat, long lose-fitting sleeves etc.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, the above has worked for me and many others, but anyone who seeks medical and/or healt advice from a guy named SquidBert on the internet is a moron ;-). If you know that you are in the risk zone for heat stroke I can't really advise you to try this.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Honey,

The caffeine in Japanese Green Tea is different than Black or Coffee because it is not fermented.

I do not believe that there is a difference between the caffeine in Green Tea and Coffee. I think they are both the same C8H10N4O2 molecule. The amount of caffeine is however different, green tea has something like 0.1mg of caffeine per ml whereas an espresso can have close to 2mg/ml

Btw, in the latest research, coffee is turning out to perhaps be a whole lot healthier than what has been previously believed. It seems to have positive effects on Alzheimer and liver cancer for example. But for kids, you'd better stick with the green tea, or muggi cha which is great for hot summer days.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

You get sick from germs. Not from being wet and cold. If that were true then myself and friend surfers should have been sick all winter long. Never were, never do.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Water, no air conditioning if possible, exercise later in the evening and a shower whenever possible have made it easier for me but summer is definitely not a sinecure.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You get sick from germs. Not from being wet and cold. If that were true then myself and friend surfers should have been sick all winter long. Never were, never do.

I'm talking about the sudden chill of "meat locker" AC. Same thing here in California as someone here said about Florida A/c temp preferences. Being wet and cold while you're swimming is not like wearing damp clothing while you are freezing and can't get up from your desk and move around to get blood flow going. It was worse when i was in school, nowadays, i try to avoid this kind of situations and i'm a lot better.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A lot of people don't know this, but the two coolest places during the summer are Okinawa and Hokkaido. Okinawa rarely exceeds 33 degrees and after the rainy season, I've seen the humidity on many occasions during the day in Okinawa as low as 55 percent. I am a runner and often run around mid-morning and when I return, take a shower, drink water, and sit in front of a fan (no AC) and after about 15 minutes, I turn the fan off. So my hat's off to the person who said that one should try not to always use AC. Trying to acclimate yourself is ideal. If it's too hot in Tokyo, please visit Okinawa...the heat here isn't as intense as people say and we always have a nice ocean breeze.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And, stop drinking that bloody green tea rubbish. It is a diuretic and will dehydrate you.

Tea is an acceptable way - in fact a good way - to keep your intake of fluids sufficiently high to replace what you lose through sweating and pissing.

What will dehydrate you is insufficient salt in your food and failure to keep liquid intake high enough. It's the exertion, the sun, and the sweating that do the damage. The tea doesn't dehydrate people, but not drinking enough of it does.

People who have an issue with caffeine in any quantity (Mormons, for example) should definitely avoid tea, as should people who feel that pure water is in some way more virtuous, and people who have a preference for some other drink because they prefer the taste. The rest of us can drink as much of the stuff as we like.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Himajin & zichi - Yes I agree. But Japanese has really great ac units better than their american counterparts.

They have the " move eye " the female golfer advertises them. And they have eco mode which saves power.

Buying one is an huge investment in japan. Japanese senior citizens are more rich than American Seniors by a longshot. They just don't want to fork out the money.

They love to open the window and use the stupid handfan which makes you more hot.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wow! heat stroke @ 15 deg C... did I read it right? hehehehe Get out of the sun.... what is a fan for?. tap water shower? .... cold drinks? There are many ways to cool yourself like the fabrics of the clothes you wear etc... People living in Japan are better regarding climate compared to others poor people living in a wet and dry only weather countries. Before electric fan and air condition were invented, people survived. I guess people are just plain whiners. When it's cold, they want heat and when it's hot they want cold. ;)) IMHO.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

whiskeysour,

I for one, can't afford the eco ac units.I did go to the store to check them out and was shocked to discover they were about ¥200,000 per unit. In my very large house, I would need 4 or 5 of them. I have just two at the moment.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Love my AC and will not lower myself to the status to a 3rd world person. Zichi, in my very large house in America have a central unit. In Okinawa I use them as required, hate heat and do not like cold as well. My apartment in Sagamihara was both cold in winter and hot in summer. Tell the power companies to bring the plants online and be comfortable.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Love my AC and will not lower myself to the status to a 3rd world person...Tell the power companies to bring the plants online and be comfortable.

Not the best approach to living on this planet but unfortunately the most popular one.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

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