Hello dear friend,
Thank you for stopping by! If you are in the UK, watching the weather forecasts and waiting for the soaring temperatures in Europe to hit us within days, I hope that you will plan ahead. Having lived in Athens, Greece for many years I know it will be a very testing time. (I don't like it too warm!) And please don't think that the risks don't concern you if you are young and healthy, that's just not true. While in Athens I vividly remember hearing of the death of a fit twenty-six year old by heatstroke in the city centre. It was shocking. I took notice, I hope you do too. Of course, all the vulnerable are at highest risk, including the very young, the elderly, and those with medical problems.
Please see below a list of things we can all do to prevent heatstroke. (The Mayo site gives comprehensive info about the whole topic.) Also, having lived in a hot climate, I can tell you, from personal experience, that even a mild case of dehydration feels horrible - nausea and so on. The main point I want to raise is that, strangely, when you are dehydrated, you stop feeling thirsty! So, in the heat, keep drinking water regularly whether you feel thirsty or not.
The best fluid to drink in a heatwave is Water. I could always spot the tourists in Greece by the fact that they were carrying bottles of soft drinks and not water. Those of us living there would not go anywhere without a bottle of water. Actually, though I have been back in Wales for some years, I still carry water when out and about. It's a good habit which I recommend. If you really won't drink water then take your fluids as you want to; but not alcohol; which is dehydrating!
Prevention of heatstroke
Heatstroke is predictable and preventable. Take these steps to prevent heatstroke during hot weather:
· Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing. Wearing excess clothing or clothing that fits tightly won't allow your body to cool properly.
· Protect against sunburn. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you're swimming or sweating.
· Drink plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated will help your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
· Take extra precautions with certain medications. Be on the lookout for heat-related problems if you take medications that can affect your body's ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
· Never leave anyone in a parked car. This is a common cause of heat-related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car can rise 20 degrees F (more than 11 C) in 10 minutes. It's not safe to leave a person in a parked car in warm or hot weather, even if the windows are cracked or the car is in shade. When your car is parked, keep it locked to prevent a child from getting inside.
· Take it easy during the hottest parts of the day. If you can't avoid strenuous activity in hot weather, drink fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Try to schedule exercise or physical labour for cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or evening.
· Get acclimated. Limit time spent working or exercising in heat until you're conditioned to it. People who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather.
· Be cautious if you're at increased risk. If you take medications or have a condition that increases your risk of heat-related problems, avoid the heat and act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating. If you participate in a strenuous sporting event or activity in hot weather, make sure there are medical services available in case of a heat emergency.
Keeping your pets safe in a heatwave
If you have a cat, as I do, (see a photo of my Smudgy above!) here is a link for tips to keep them safe in a heatwave.
The item that jumped out at me was to keep the cat indoors at this time... About keeping up their fluids Smudgy doesn't drink a lot of water so I'll get him some packets of cat soup and put them in the fridge. He's not keen on them generally, but he will lick the gravy, so that's the plan.
If you have a dog the link below gives lots of info. It mentions not leaving an animal in a car. Yesterday I heard that even leaving them for 10-15 minutes can cause death, so please don't do that!
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the sunshine safely.
Love and blessings
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