How to withstand the heat
Take the right measures to deal with high temperatures
We all know very well that when it’s hot we need to pay special attention to children, the elderly and the chronically ill. But they are not the only people who need to be protected – you too can suffer from the detrimental effects of the hottest days of the year. To avoid this, we suggest you follow the tips given below, which will help to make the heat more bearable.
Avoid the hottest time of the day
Between 12 noon and 5 pm, it’s best to stay indoors if you can. But if you can’t, try to stay in the shade as much as possible and put off any activities that require a lot of effort, or intensive exercise, until later on.
Protect yourself from heatwaves
To keep the house cooler, close the blinds and lower the awnings. Try to stay in the coolest room and use a fan or air-conditioning. If these measures don’t work, go to a public space that has air-conditioning.
Wear loose clothing
Wear lightweight clothing in light colors, fresh and breathable footwear, a hat or cap, sunglasses, sunscreen… and don’t forget a fan! Do not wear tight or high-heel shoes.
Take care of your body
- Keep an eye on the circulation in your legs and feet: if you have varicose veins or ‘heavy’ legs, refresh them in cold water. Cooling down with damp cloths and frequent showers also makes the heat easier to bear.
- Get at least seven hours of sleep every day in a cool, well-ventilated room.
- Consult your doctor if you have a chronic disease (diabetes mellitus, heart disease, morbid obesity, kidney disease, etc.), or if you take certain treatments (diuretics, neuroleptic anticholinergics or tranquillizers). Keep medications in a cool place and be aware that some drugs can cause photosensitivity and sunburn when your skin is exposed to the sun.
When it’s very hot, you need to drink water often, even if you don’t feel thirsty. You can also drink soft drinks or isotonic beverages, but not too chilled. Avoid alcohol, coffee, tea and very sugary beverages; they encourage dehydration because they have a diuretic effect.
Eat a heat-appropriate diet
- Increase your consumption of fresh fruit and vegetables (gazpachos, chilled soups, salads, etc.), make sure your fridge is at the right temperature, and be sure to keep all perishable or cooked foods in the fridge.
- Do not eat home-made mayonnaise or sauces that contain raw eggs unless they have been made immediately before eating.
- Do not overeat, and avoid foods that are very hot, high in fat, or difficult to digest.
Take care of the most vulnerable
Pay special attention to children and the elderly, and make sure they are properly supervised. People over 65 who live alone should be in contact with a family member or social services at least twice a day.