Heatwaves are an aggression to the human body. Vessels dilate and perspiration increases to cool the body. Some people feel the effects of heat more and are more sensitive to headaches and fatigue like children or the elderly. Here’s how to protect yourself from the side effects of extreme heat.
Wear light and airy clothing
In the case of high heat, lighter clothing is preferable. Clothing should not be too tight to ensure maximum comfort. This will prevent you from feeling restricted in your movements and avoid blood circulation problems, such as the feeling of heavy legs.
Light clothing will help limit perspiration because it will allow the skin to “breathe” more. Light-colored clothing will help to avoid storing too much heat.
Stay indoors and cool
At the hottest hours, i.e. between 12 noon and 4 pm, it is advisable to stay indoors and not to expose yourself to the sun and heat.
Take the opportunity to rest, to play quietly with the children or to take a nap.
To keep your accommodation as cool as possible, it is advisable to:
- Close the shutters, windows, and curtains as soon as the outside temperature rises,
- Make fresh drafts as soon as the outside air is more relaxed,
- Use fans, even if they don’t help reduce room temperature.
In hot weather, infants, young children, and seniors should be exposed to as little heat and sunlight as possible. In case of exposure, remember to take a parasol with you and a hat.
Drink lots of water
Our body uses a good part of the water consumed to compensate for the most important reactions (sweating, blood circulation, breathing). When it’s hot, we sometimes breathe faster, sweat more, etc. Even if the rooms are air-conditioned, we must make sure we drink well throughout the day. The heat makes us lose a lot of water, so we must continuously think about hydrating ourselves. Under normal circumstances, it is advisable to drink at least 1.5 liters of water per day. On a hot day, it is recommended to increase to 3 or 4 liters of water per adult per day. If you are concerned about not drinking enough, keep a large bottle handy and make sure, you finish it twice at the end of the day.
Infants, young children, and the elderly are most at risk of dehydration. They should be encouraged to drink small amounts of water very regularly. Older people, who are particularly prone to hyperthermia should protect themselves from the heat. Here are a few tips to follow: stay indoors, stay cool, drink a lot, eat enough, apply damp cloths to the face and arms.
Avoid excessive sweating
In hot weather, the smallest activity we can do makes us sweat more. It is not advisable to do sports in hot weather. The heat is more difficult to bear in case of heavy sweating (= hyperhidrosis). In the case of hyperhidrosis, it is advisable to avoid hot drinks, spices, or alcohol, which increase the body temperature.
Adapting your diet
To reduce the risk of dehydration, food, like water consumption, must be adapted to changes in temperature. Vacationers, workers, children, and the elderly are encouraged to consume more water-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables. Only people with diarrhea should not follow this type of diet.
Fruits and vegetables rich in water
- Fruits: apple, orange, banana, tomato, watermelon, peach, etc.
- Vegetables: cucumbers, zucchini, broccoli
Protect Yourself From the Dangers of Extreme Heat
Depending on age, the body reacts differently to extreme heat. In old age, the body does not perspire very much, so it has difficulty in keeping up with 37°C. Therefore, the body temperature can then rise we risk heat stroke (hyperthermia – temperature above 40° with alteration of consciousness).
For children and adults, the body sweats a lot to maintain the right temperature. But, as a result, we lose water and risk dehydration. For manual workers, especially those working outdoors, and when playing sports, the body is exposed to heat and perspires a lot to keep itself at the right temperature. There is a risk of dehydration.
High Heat and Covid-19
Ensure air renewal in all places of professional life
Whatever they may be, to bring “new” air from outside, to evacuate the air that has stayed inside to the outside, to avoid the recycling or recirculation of air in the premises. In periods of high heat, ventilation of confined spaces or rooms, in the Covid-19 context, for at least 10 to 15 minutes twice a day, should be carried out when the outside temperature is lower than the inside temperature. In the event of an associated pollution peak, ventilation should still be provided.
The use of a fan is recommended
including in combination with misting, in a room with only one person. The fan must be stopped before another person enters the room. However, in small, enclosed, or incompletely open collective spaces, the use of ventilators for air circulation/air cooling purposes is not recommended if several people are present in the area, even if they are wearing masks.
Returning air conditioners to service
in premises accommodating personnel (air-conditioned rooms) is preceded by a cleaning/disinfection operation of filters and circuits.
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