The heat wave of summer 2003 remains engraved in our memories. Tips on how to get through the summer heat without danger, even when the thermometer is rising.
Rule No. 1
- Do not stay isolated, make contact with neighbours, family, the town hall, the caretaker…
– Take thermometers: one for outdoors, one for indoors and keep informed of the weather forecast.
– Close windows and shutters during the day to keep the heat out. Only open shutters and windows at night when the outside temperature is lower than the inside temperature. Make draughts.
– For cooling: have a fan, mist sprayers at least, an air conditioner if it is easy to install.
– Locate air-conditioned places: shopping malls, cinemas, certain large surfaces… (ask the town hall for the places at its disposal).
To cool down and stay hydrated
– Wear loose-fitting clothes, preferably made of fine cotton, which you can wet if necessary.
– Avoid going out during the hot hours. If you cannot avoid going out, wear loose cotton clothing and a hat or cap.
– Shower (or bathe) several times a day, and moisten your face, arms and legs. Possibly put an ice pack on the neck, in the groin.
– Drink throughout the day, 2 to 3 litres of fresh (not iced) liquid in small quantities: water but also fruit juices, herbal teas (non-diuretic), cola drinks, cold soups (gazpacho), vegetable juices.
– Eat salty foods normally or for those who can eat a little more than usual (mineral salts help to fix water).
– Eat water-rich foods: fruits and vegetables (tomatoes, melon, cucumber, peaches, nectarines, apricots…), yoghurts.
– Detecting heat stroke or dehydration
Older people get dehydrated quickly. To detect heat stroke or even dehydration, here are some indicators. And solutions to act quickly.