While we all love to embrace the heat of summer and bask in the opportunity for some surf, sand and sun, for many, such as the elderly, the very young and our much-loved pets – soaring hot temperatures pose a serious health risk.
Extremely hot weather can effect or further exacerbate heart and breathing difficulties and cause severe dehydration and sunstroke- knowing how to keep cool during a heatwave can help to save lives!
Try to avoid any strenuous activities at all cost. If this conflicts with your new found exercise plan, try doing some light stretches at home or a few laps at the local pools.
It is important to plan your day around the heat. Try and stay indoors between midday and 3pm, when the sun and heat is at its harshest. You could visit the local shopping mall or any other public air-conditioned building such as the cinemas.
Keep your cool
Close the windows of your house during the day, draw the blinds and take precautions around your home that will stop the heat and sun from streaming through. You can try opening the doors and windows later on in the evening once it has cooled down.
Don’t forget to bring your pot plants inside and where possible keeps pets close by with plenty of fresh cold water available in various spots around your home.
While this may seem like an obvious tip during the heat, make sure you don’t undo all your hard work to stay hydrated by drinking sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages or too much tea and coffee as these beverages can severely dehydrate you in the heat.
Try adding some colour and flavour to your water to make it more interesting, add some freshly sliced seasonal fruit, sliced lemons, limes, cucumbers and fresh mint are also a great idea.
Check-in on those most at risk
Make sure to check in with your elderly neighbours and relatives, often they will be most at risk during this time. Check that their fan or air-conditioner is working and that they are staying hydrated through out the day. If you’re concerned why not invite them over for a board game, movie or just a general chat.
Keep children from venturing outside at the hottest part of the day, if your planning on having a swim opt for the early morning or late afternoon and always keep them slathered in sunscreen and UV-protective clothing.
Know the warning signs
Being able to identify the symptoms of heat-related illness is vital and can help save lives – the same goes for your pets. Seek help immediately if you can identify the following symptoms:
– heavy sweating accompanied by cold, pale skin
– dizziness or feeling faint
– fast or weak pulse
– cramps and convulsions
– nausea or rashes
– weakness or exhaustion
How are you staying cool this Summer? Share your best tips on beating the heat in our comments section below, or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.