During a heat wave, the air temperature remains abnormally high day and night for at least 3 days. This excess heat can cause hyperthermia in people who sweat little or dehydration in those who sweat a lot. High temperatures can have health effects and reduce physical and intellectual performance.
- 1 People at risk
- 2 Symptoms
- 3 8 tips to follow to prevent the risks associated with heat waves this summer.
- 3.1 1. Stay hydrated and eat light
- 3.2 2. Take slightly cool showers
- 3.3 3. Close the shutters during the day
- 3.4 4. Unplug appliances
- 3.5 5. Put a damp cloth in front of the fan or forehead
- 3.6 6. Wear light clothes
- 3.7 7. Moisten the soil
- 3.8 8. Keep in touch with seniors
- 3.9 Bonuses. For athletes: Watch out for sport
People at risk
The elderly, especially those suffering from chronic illnesses, infants, young children and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable people in periods of high heat.
Potential symptoms in the event of a heat wave can be, for example: weakness, confusion, dizziness, headache, muscle cramps, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting or diarrhoea. If these symptoms occur, measures should be taken: lay the affected person down and cool his body. When conscious, give cool water to drink. If these measures do not lead to improvement, medical help should be sought.
8 tips to follow to prevent the risks associated with heat waves this summer.
1. Stay hydrated and eat light
It is important to drink enough to rehydrate. Popular wisdom recommends 8 glasses of water a day. The goal is to drink at least 1.5 liters per day at regular intervals and without waiting to feel thirsty. Indeed, by trying to regulate body temperature, the body will begin to sweat, which leads to the elimination of a large amount of water. Drinking regularly allows the production of sweat while avoiding dehydration. Attention, water is to be preferred and it is advisable to limit sugary drinks because of their diuretic effect, that is to say which increases urinary secretion. Also avoid alcoholic beverages. Eat cold and refreshing meals such as fruits, salads, vegetables or dairy products. Be careful, however, to consume enough salt, especially during sports.
2. Take slightly cool showers
When you are at home, it is advisable to take showers that are slightly cool and not too cold. It will help you cool down. Very cold water should be avoided even if the heat is unbearable. Because even if it can provide an immediate feeling of freshness, the risk of thermal shock is significant. By coming into contact with this sudden cold, the blood vessels will contract abruptly in order to preserve the heat. This natural mechanism can be the cause of hypertension or malaise. If you are outside, do not hesitate to wet your face or arms with a towel.
3. Close the shutters during the day
When it is very hot, it is better to close the shutters and the windows. Instead, take advantage of the cool moments to open them. In the evening, when the sun has set and the outside temperature drops slightly, open the blinds and shutters to renew the air circulating in the house while lowering the temperature a little. Remember to use mosquito nets if you sleep with the windows open. The best time to ventilate the interior is generally between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. A fan keeps the rooms well ventilated in the evening.
4. Unplug appliances
The use of household appliances should be limited as much as possible during the heat wave. Cooking in the oven, using the television and other appliances increases the temperature in the house, in addition to the risk of overheating.
5. Put a damp cloth in front of the fan or forehead
The fan can provide immediate cooling when the heat starts to rise. But its effect remains limited when the temperature is very high. The best way to optimize its efficiency is to hang a wet cloth or sheet in front of the device. This trick helps to lower the ambient temperature and provide freshness. If there is no fan, you can also hang a damp cloth up high, near the window or in the rooms of the house. Air conditioning remains the most effective solution to lower the temperature but is not always possible, due to high installation costs. In addition, cold and damp cloths (towels) placed on the forehead and the nape of the neck make it possible to refresh the whole body. Remember to regularly monitor body temperature.
6. Wear light clothes
Remember to choose your clothes carefully. Light, loose clothes, made of cotton, linen or natural fiber and preferably light colors are to be preferred. If you go out, a pair of sunglasses and a hat will give you extra protection. Shoes such as flip flops are also strongly recommended.
7. Moisten the soil
Moistening the ground can be a beneficial solution to create a cool wind. If you have tile or floor that can handle getting wet, use a damp mop. The heat will create evaporation which helps to cool the ambient air while absorbing the heat.
8. Keep in touch with seniors
The elderly are particularly vulnerable, so it is important to keep in touch or stay with them. The vigilance of a loved one can be essential to avoid any risk of discomfort related to heat stroke or a problem of dehydration.
Bonuses. For athletes: Watch out for sport
Try to reduce physical activity as much as possible during the hottest hours of the day and favor shady places. In addition, it will be necessary to compensate for the loss of salt during and after sports activities.