Health and MedicineHealthy tipsRecommendations and advice before a heat wave

Recommendations and advice before a heat wave

What to do in a heat wave: tips and basic health recommendations to better cope with the heat during the days when a heat wave lasts.

Although the arrival of summer is usually synonymous with horrors of heat, the truth is that it not only makes an appearance on days outside of the summer season. In fact, every year the presence or arrival of heat waves is alerted before or after the summer, and not only precisely during the summer days.

It is known as a heat wave for a period of time, more or less prolonged, characterized by being excessively warm, although it can be excessively humid (although this last characteristic is very rare).

In the case of the AEMET (State Meteorological Agency) it defines it as a period of at least 3 days with temperatures above 32.3ºC.

Therefore, given the high temperatures, it is advisable to know some tips to take into account when we are in a heat wave, and what recommendations to carry out.

What to do in case of heat wave?

Choose a fresh and light diet

The best foods to consume during a heat wave are those that provide water to our body, and are also refreshing: fruits, fresh vegetables and salads. Of course, we must always wash them well before consuming them.

It is also essential to increase hydration, opting for fresh mineral water and natural juices.  Remember that highly sugary drinks (such as soft drinks) not only do not quench thirst but also increase it.

Be careful with certain foods and drinks

During hottest days, or when we are in the middle of a heat wave, the consumption of highly sugary, alcoholic or caffeinated beverages is not recommended.

It is also recommended to avoid copious and excess meals, while avoiding easily contaminated foods, such as Russian salads or sauces such as mayonnaise.

If you are in more vulnerable groups…

It is best to stay at home during the hottest days, and not go outside at the hottest times of the day (from 12 to 16 hours).

Avoid sun exposure

If you are not among the so-called “most vulnerable groups”, the basic recommendation is to avoid sun exposure for too long, or at times when the sun’s rays arrive more vertically (that is, between 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. ).

And, above all, avoid as much as possible staying out of the house in the sun for a long time, even when it is not at the most “dangerous” hours of the day. In this sense, for example, it is best to try to stay in the shade whenever you can.

If you decide to sunbathe: always with great caution

It is best to sunbathe progressively, starting with sessions of 15 to 20 minutes and increasing the time but always without exceeding the exposures of 2 hours in a row.  However, if you find yourself in the middle of a heat wave, it is best to stay in the shade and avoid exposure to the sun.

In turn, it is advisable to protect yourself with a hat, and if you have to leave the house, wear loose, light and comfortable clothing.

Always use the right sun protection

It is convenient not only that you always use a suitable photo protective cream according to your skin type, but also renew it every 2 hours, or every time you get out of the water.

Be careful with the little ones

It is not recommended that children under 3 years of age expose themselves to the sun on hottest days, or during the aforementioned heat wave. Therefore, it is best to keep them at home, in a cool environment, and even when they are, we keep them with fresh and comfortable clothing.

Do not practice physical exercise outdoors

Physical activity and outdoor exercise should be avoided and reduced when the heat is excessive. And try to leave it only for the coolest hours of the day, which are usually between 7:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. However, if the heat continues to be suffocating it is best to avoid it for a few days, especially until the temperatures cool.


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