Very hot weather can have consequences for your health. It addition to the fatigue that it always causes, it can also have more serious effects (such as heatstroke and dehydration). Humidity and air pollution increase the effects of heat. In addition, pregnancy, some diseases and taking certain medicines can have adverse effects on your health during hot weather.
By taking some simple steps, you can avoid serious problems, particularly at the start of a period of hot weather:
I. Protect yourself at the hottest times of the day
- avoid going out during the hottest periods of the day (11 a.m. – 5 p.m.) If possible, try to rest in a cool place during “siesta time”
- avoid energetic outdoor activities (such as gardening and DIY), and physical exertion
- wear a hat and cool, loose, cotton clothes in a light colour
- keep your home cool (close the windows and shutters during the day and open them in the evening and at night if it’s cooler)
- if the indoor temperature exceeds 32°C, fans will not counteract the intense heat, as they move the air around without cooling it and speed up dehydration
- if possible, pour water on your terraces and balconies in the evening after sunset, particularly those that are west facing
- check that your refrigerator is working correctly.
II. Cool yourself down
- take cool baths or showers regularly (but not cold)
- moisten your body several times a day with a water spray or flannel;
- spend 2 to 3 hours a day in a cool place (such as department stores, cinemas and public places).
III. Drink and continue to eat
- drink (as much as possible), at least 1.5 litres of water per day
- drink water regularly – don’t wait until you’re thirsty
- avoid drinking alcohol, coffee, tea, fizzy drinks and sweet drinks, as these can lead to dehydration
- make sure than you eat enough; choose cold food that contains a lot of water (such a fruit and raw vegetables)
- keep away from sources of heat (such as an oven).
IV. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice
- before taking any medicines, even if they are on sale without a prescription
- about any unusual symptoms
V. Don’t hesitate
- to keep in touch with your family and friends and, when necessary, ask for help
- to help elderly people, children and babies to stay hydrated
- to contact the Emergency Department of the Princess Grace Hospital (for yourself or someone in need) on the following number: 97 98 99 00.
Originally published at Portail du Gouvernement