How to survive a heat wave

The heat wave suffered by Canada and the United States, with temperatures exceeding 50 degrees, is serving to make the world population aware of the probability of suffering similar episodes in the near future. It is important not to take this possibility lightly and if it happens, a series of precautions must be taken to avoid serious health problems and even death in the most extreme cases.

There are basic measures such as cooling off often or avoiding physical exercise in peak hours of heat, but there are also a long series of preventive measures to cope with the situation with the least possible risk to health. The elderly and children are the most vulnerable to high temperatures, but the entire population must take precautions.

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– Avoid having all the heat sources that we have at home running. This involves turning off lights and using appliances as little as possible because they are an additional source of heat.

– If you don’t have air conditioning, you can use a fan to alleviate the feeling of heat. There are some tricks that work well like putting the fan in front of an ice tray and thus generating a stream of fresh air that can relieve us.

– Following this advice, you should also try to generate natural air currents by playing with opening certain doors and windows to get the air to move. In a phase of extreme heat, it is very appreciated that there is air movement.

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– We must avoid, as far as possible, that the sun’s rays enter the house. It is convenient to have the blinds down at times when the sun is brightest. We can have the blinds collected during the night and the first moments of the day so that the air can flow, but during the day we must protect our house from direct sunlight.

– We do not have to do physical exercise in the hottest moments because we are exposed to heat stroke that can be very dangerous to our health. If we want to maintain our healthy routine of going for a run or walking, we should do it first thing in the morning or at night.

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– You have to hydrate continuously by drinking water. This will help us maintain an adequate temperature in our body and avoid hydration problems.

– Let’s keep a fresh diet, based on salads and fruits. Heavy meals do not help in this situation and, in addition, they require long cooking times that imply having an additional heat source at home.

– If the heat is suffocating, we must resort to frequent showers with cold water. As a complement, it is useful to immerse the hands and wrists in water to try to eliminate the sensation of heat.

– As a basic advice, avoid traveling through open areas during the central hours of the day so as not to be exposed to the sun directly.

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– If there is no choice but to have to walk and receive the sun’s rays, we must protect our body, but especially our head with a scarf or a cap.

Finally, we must be attentive to a series of symptoms that indicate that we have suffered a heat stroke. Obviously, the most obvious and serious symptoms are loss of consciousness and seizures, but there are others that usually appear earlier, such as feeling sleepy, being very thirsty or feeling very hot skin. If we notice these symptoms, we need urgent medical attention.

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