Summer has finally arrived, bringing sun, heat, and plenty of ideas for outdoor activities. But don’t forget that exposure to heat can have negative consequences. Follow our advice to avoid heatstroke while enjoying everything that summer has to offer!
1. Limit your exposure to heat and sun.
During a heat wave, stay out of the sun and the heat during the hottest hours of the day, between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Find cool or air-conditioned areas like shopping centres, cinemas or shady parks.
2. Keep hydrated.
Drink about two litres of liquid per day. Choose water or fruit juices, and avoid alcohol and beverages containing caffeine because they increase the risk of dehydration.
3. Dress appropriately.
Wear pale-coloured, comfortable, lightweight clothing (for example, made of cotton or linen) that let air circulate around your body. Also, always remember to protect your head by wearing a hat or a cap.
4. Keep your living area cool.
Open your windows wide at night to let the fresh air in and close the curtains during the day to keep out the heat. Use a fan to keep the air circulating and, if you can, turn on the air conditioner.
5. Don’t overexert yourself.
Avoid working out or exercising intensely when temperatures are high. Also, limit your physical exertion during the hottest hours of the day (moving furniture, landscaping, etc.). If you can’t avoid it, drink lots of water to prevent dehydration.
6. Pay special attention to at-risk people.
Children and seniors are more prone to heatstroke since their bodies do not manage temperature variations as effectively. Give them something to drink often and keep them in a cool place. Certain health problems such as obesity, hypertension, alcoholism, mental illness and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease render people more vulnerable to heatstroke and require particular attention.
7. Be extra careful with your baby.
Unlike adults, it is difficult for babies to regulate their body temperature. Any exterior increase in temperature can be a real threat to them, making it imperative to watch them closely. In young infants, you may suspect heatstroke if they do not shed tears when they cry, if their mouth is dry, if the soft spot on their head is slightly sunken or if they do not wet their diaper for more than 8 hours. Never expose babies to the sun or heat for long periods. Also make sure to never leave your child alone in a car that’s parked in the sun.
8. Be aware of medicinal reactions.
Some medication can also increase your risk of developing problems following exposure to heat. In fact, some medication interferes with the perspiration process or favours water elimination, thereby disrupting the body’s ability to regulate its temperature in a heat wave. Speak with your pharmacist to find out if your medication increases your risks of suffering from heatstroke.
Certain products or changes in your lifestyle may not suit you. Always consult your pharmacist or a healthcare professional to evaluate the options that work best for you.
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