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17 July, 2024
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Heatwave leads to fainting and nosebleeds in schools

Air conditioner urgency: Cyprus schools in hot seat


Incidents of children experiencing dizziness and nosebleeds due to high temperatures have been reported in schools, according to POED President Myria Vassiliou. Speaking on the Rik radio show "Morning Itinerary," Vassiliou emphasized the urgency of the situation, stating that the Ministry, in cooperation with the Meteorological Service, must evaluate the data and implement additional measures to mitigate the problem. She suggested that these measures could include shortening the school day or even closing schools temporarily.

Vassiliou also addressed the need for air conditioners in schools, urging the Ministry of Education to expedite the installation process. "The Ministry of Education must expedite the procedures for installing air conditioners in classrooms. We will not accept a three-year plan," she said.

In response to the high temperatures, the Medical Services and Public Health Services of the Ministry of Health have issued a series of guidelines to protect students and staff. These include ensuring that teaching areas are well-ventilated with fans or natural airflow and using air conditioners where available. The guidelines recommend avoiding sun exposure, particularly for young children, and using high-protection sunscreen. Staying in shaded and cool places and avoiding overcrowded areas is advised.

Appropriate clothing is also crucial, with recommendations to wear light, comfortable, and light-colored attire, and for students to wear hats when outdoors. Strenuous physical activities outdoors should be avoided, and physical education lessons should be canceled during peak heat hours from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. During break times, physical exercise and games under the sun should be avoided.

The Ministry also advises consuming small, light meals low in fat, with an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, and ensuring adequate fluid intake, such as water and juices. During excursions, shaded areas should be available for students and staff.

Particular attention should be given to children with chronic illnesses, who should consult their physicians for any necessary adjustments to their medication. Immediate medical advice should be sought for anyone on school grounds experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, headache, or vomiting.

Vassiliou’s statements and the issued guidelines highlight the pressing need for immediate action to ensure the safety and well-being of students during periods of extreme heat. The situation underscores the broader challenge of adapting school infrastructure and policies to cope with increasingly frequent and severe heatwaves.

Cyprus  |  schools

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