The heat wave at the moment is tormenting, it’s hard on our bodies, our moods, lifestyle, outings and activities.
The best way to survive the heat is to plan ahead, know the tips to surviving it and know what to do when the heat hits. Hot weather can affect anyone, including the young and healthy. However, some people are more at risk than others.
People most at risk are aged over 65 years especially those living alone, have a medical condition such as diabetes, kidney disease or mental illness, people who are taking medications that may affect the way the body reacts to heat, alcohol or drug users, disabled, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, babies and young children, overweight or obese.
These tips will help you keep cool even if it feels like the sun is out to get you;
- Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
- Apply antiperspirant at night so it works more effectively. You can get the sweating under control.
- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this is not possible, use light-colored curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
- Close the windows and use insulated drapes to keep the sun out during the day and open them at night when the sun is down. You can also hang a damp towel in front of the window to cool the air flowing into your home and open opposing windows or windows on the top and bottom floors for maximum air flow.
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Wear light-colored, loose-fitting clothing made from natural fibres like cotton and linen.
- Cool your head with a special pillow like the Chillow, sleep on top of a wet sheet (aka the “Egyptian method”)
- If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
- Get yourself one of those rechargeable fan
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
- If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf.
- check up on friends, relatives and neighbors who may be less able to look after themselves
- Drink More Water even if you don’t feel thirsty. You know how important it is to stay hydrated all year round. When you’re sweating a lot, either because of exercise or the summer heat, drinking enough water becomes even more important. Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Water, lower-fat milks and tea and coffee are good options. Water is free and easily accessible for most of us. Even if you have to trick yourself into drink more water and learn to love the taste of it and Take a bottle with you always
- Hot cars kill. Never leave kids, older people or pets in cars. The temperature inside a parked car can double within minutes.
- Plan ahead. Schedule activities in the coolest part of the day and avoid exercising in the heat. If you must go out, wear a hat and sunscreen and take a bottle of water with you.
- Keep yourself cool by using wet towels, putting your feet in cool water and taking cool (not cold) showers.
- Eat smaller meals more often and cold meals such as salads.
- Make sure food that needs refrigeration is properly stored.
- Avoid heavy activity like sport, renovating and gardening.
- Watch or listen to news reports to find out more information during extreme heat.