Safety Tips to Prepare for A Heatwave
Summer remains a favoured time of the year for most South Africans. The promise of sunny skies and being outdoors makes this time of the year more exciting and enjoyable for most people. However, extreme temperatures have become increasingly common as climate changes sweep through the country.
Heatwaves remain a significant concern. It’s crucial to understand the health risks associated with high temperatures nationwide. Read on to find out about our safety tips to prepare for a heatwave this holiday season.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water remains your best option to cool down during a heatwave. Your body needs water for everyday functions like transporting blood to major organs. If you lose fluids through sweating on hot days, you should drink more water to avoid the risk of dehydration.
Hot weather means more sweating, which can become a health concern. Staying hydrated can also help regulate your temperature as it cools down your body. A heatstroke is the leading health risk during a heatwave and can be prevented by using water to cool down.
Plan Outdoor Activities Properly
Adventuring during hot weather can be a challenge. You should plan your outdoor activities carefully to avoid the impact of the heat. For instance, you can schedule your outdoor activities for the times of the day when it’s a bit cooler than the rest.
Ensure you wear light clothing, like synthetic clothing, that can help regulate your body temperature. Another thing you should consider is using sunscreen to protect against harmful sun rays on such days. However, there are days when the heat is unbearable, and you must avoid doing anything outside.
Monitor Your Health
Did you know that heat can affect your health in several ways? Heatstroke can affect anyone. Additionally, it can lead to a medical emergency, causing organ damage and fatalities in some cases.
Children and older people are vulnerable to extreme heat conditions. It’s crucial to monitor your health if you have underlying health issues, like heart disease, to prevent further complications. If you experience symptoms of heatstroke, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Understand the Signs of Heat-Related Illness
A heatstroke is possible if your body temperature rises to 40 degrees Celsius. In severe cases, it can lead to organ failure and brain damage. Hot and humid weather conditions are the primary triggers of heat-related illness.
Underlying health issues can take several days to develop into a heatstroke. It’s necessary to understand these signs of heat-related illnesses before it’s too late:
- Excessive sweating that continues even when you’re not doing anything.
- Changes in blood pressure levels.
- Confusion, dizziness or disorientation.
- Rising heart rate accompanied by rapid breathing.
- Feeling weak to the point of fainting or loss of consciousness.
Keep Your Home Cooler
Keeping your home cooler during the intense summer heat can seem impossible, especially when you want to reduce your electricity usage or don’t have any air conditioning. Yet, the potential health risks of extreme heat require you to use any practical tips to avoid life-threatening emergencies.
These are some strategies you can consider to keep your house cool this summer:
- Close your curtains or blinds to reduce the amount of sunlight that enters your home.
- Turn off the stove and any major appliances that add heat to your space.
- Keep doors closed in unused rooms.
- Open the windows in the evening when the temperature outside starts to drop.
- Swap out your incandescent lights for LED, energy-saving ones.
Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Holiday evenings seem longer. It’s common to stay up late with your loved ones and enjoy drinks as you catch up. Yet, there are known risks of drinking alcohol during a heatwave.
Research suggests that alcohol consumption can increase your risk of dehydration. It makes you sweat more, and it’s also a diuretic, encouraging your kidneys to remove toxic fluids from your system. Limiting the amount of alcohol you drink and increasing your water intake can help you prevent heat-related illnesses this summer.
In summary, avoiding a heatwave seems impossible. The best you can do is to stay prepared to reduce risks that impact your health. If you have underlying health concerns that can result in a heatstroke, Affinity Rescue is here to provide immediate emergency care to improve your chances of survival.