How to stay healthy during summer heatwaves
A bit of sunshine is always a welcome change from dreary “British summers”, but when the temperatures start rising above 25°C, your health can be put at risk.
Recent heatwaves, with temperatures soaring past 35°C, can be even more dangerous for older individuals. So how can you stay safe and healthy this summer?
Follow these 5 hot weather tips:
1) STAY HYDRATED
On an average day, an adult should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water. However, the hotter it gets, the more you need to drink.
Try to drink hydrating fluids, such as water, juice and cordials, and avoid drinks that dehydrate your body, such as alcohol and high-caffeine drinks, such as coffee.
If you’re out and about, take a bottle of water with you, so you can take sips throughout the day.
2) STAY COOL
The hottest hours of the day are usually between 11 am and 3 pm. Ideally, stay indoors or at least in the shade during these hours.
If you need to go out, make sure you wear loose clothing made of natural fibres, such as cotton, which are more breathable than synthetic fibres and will help keep you cool.
3) STAY ALERT
Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can come on surprisingly quickly and can be life-threatening. So make sure you’re aware of the symptoms and stay alert to how you’re feeling.
Symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke include:
- Excessive sweating
- Extreme thirst
- Muscle weakness
If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical help immediately and take steps to cool yourself down immediately by retreating to a cool, shady place, drinking lots of water, loosening any tight clothing and applying cool water to your body.
4) STAY ORGANISED
When you’re planning a day out, whether that’s a family trip or simply a jaunt into town, try to ensure you’re indoors during the hottest hours of the day (11 am to 3 pm).
Also, pack a bottle or 2 of water and if possible, familiarise yourself with the area so you know where you can seek shade and pick up more water if needed.
5) STAY IN TOUCH
Whenever you’re going out, make sure a friend or relative knows about it and knows when to expect you to return home.
Don’t forget, when the heat really gets high, even staying cool at home can prove difficult. So make sure you check in daily with a loved one so they know you’re ok and that if they don’t hear from you, they should be concerned.
A Helpline personal alarm can also be a great help, so should you feel unwell at home, all you need to do is press a button (on your wrist strap or pendant) to get the help you need.