Haze and Heat Policy
Guidelines for the API Index and Heat Index in Penang
The air in Penang is generally clean and clear. Periodically the Air Pollution Index (API) does creep up into unhealthy levels, usually in September and October. When that happens Dalat uses these Malaysian Ministry of Education guidelines and input from other local schools and agencies.
The director will monitor the air quality using various sources of information – Department of Environment, local media, etc. An important indicator will be the Air Pollution Index (API) and action will be taken according to the API levels with the following guidelines:
It is important to understand that the API index is not the only indicator involved in the decision. Parents should be aware that in some cases the API readings can be presented as a 24 hour average, or that those readings can change significantly from the previous evening to the next morning. For that reason, the decision must also include the director’s best judgment and common sense as current conditions in Penang may not be fully represented by the API index published in the media.
Here are some links about API and API readings in Malaysia:
Heat Illness Prevention
The heat illness policy is intended to provide general guidelines for preventing, assessing and dealing with heat-related illness in athletes.
Heat index is a statistic that combines temperature and humidity. It is intended to show what conditions “feel like” for the body. With the high humidity levels in Malaysia, the heat index is a more comprehensive number for addressing heat illness.
- Coaches should follow procedure for preventing, identifying and dealing with heat illness in athletes.
- Check the heat index level on Dalat’s Intranet page before practice or games.
- Based on heat conditions, take into consideration two factors 1) danger levels 2) significance of practice/game
- Significance of practice/game: Major sporting events like soccer tournaments cannot be cancelled due to heat under normal circumstances. Coaches and the tournament director should be aware of heat conditions and make changes to the format to account for it like shorter halves, periodic water breaks, fewer games, etc. Minor sporting events like a practice or friendly matches can be delayed, postponed or cancelled if conditions warrant it.
- Coaches are responsible for monitoring heat index levels and responding according to procedure. The Athletic Director has the ability to make an overriding decision for each sports team.
- Coaches must remember all athletes respond differently to heat. Weight, fitness level, acclimatization and general fitness are factors to consider.
- Practicing or playing in direct sunlight will receive the maximum level of heat index levels. Tennis courts and cement can increase temperatures by 10-15 degrees.
- 32-40: Heat exhaustion, heat cramps & sunstroke possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity. Provide unlimited fluids and monitor athletes for signs & symptoms of heat illness.
- 40-51: Heat exhaustion, heat cramps & sunstroke likely, and heatstroke possible. Provide unlimited fluids & take more breaks, consider altering practice so it is less strenuous, doing indoor work or practice in the shade.
- 51 & above: Sunstroke & heatstroke highly likely, practice in the shade, indoors and heavily reduce strenuous activity. Be on high alert for signs of heat illness and address them immediately.
Symptoms and Treatment