In the summer heat, when temperatures rise over 35°C (95°F), one has to take account of what should be done and what should be avoided for the sake of preserving health.
There are some recommendations that that are important to keep at all times, to avoid potentially severe consequences such as a heatstroke or sunburns, and to preserve general well-being.
- As much as possible, avoid exposure to sun between 11 am and 6 pm.
- If you have air-conditioning in your home or at your office, set it so that the indoor temperature is 5° lower than the ambient temperature.
- If the temperature is 32°C (90°F) or higher, you should not use the fan.
- If you do not have air-conditioning at home or at work, spend 2–3 hours per day in spaces where there is air-conditioning, such as public places and shops.
- Always wear a hat and light and loose clothing made from natural fibers of light colors.
- Take lukewarm showers during the day whenever possible.
- Drink 1.5 to 2 L of fluids per day without waiting for becoming thirsty. In hot weather, an adult should drink a glass of water every 15–20 minutes.
- Avoid drinking alcohol, as it causes dehydration and reduces the body’s capacity to endure heat.
- Also avoid drinks with a high caffeine content such as coffee, tea and coke, as well as sugar carbonated drinks that have a diuretic effect and may lead to dehydration.
Consume fresh fruits and vegetables, especially melons, tomatoes, plums, and cucumbers, as they contain the highest quantities of water.
- A small cup of yogurt has the same hydrating effect as a glass of water.
- Avoid outdoor activities that require a lot of energy, such as jogging and gardening.
Take care of the persons whose well-being may depend on you, including children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. Offer them fluids regularly even if they do not ask.
Keep permanent contact with neighbors, relatives, and friends who are older or live with disabilities and asked them about how they feel and whether they need anything.
How to reduce temperature in homes
- Close windows exposed to the sun, as well as the blinds or the curtains.
- Keep the windows are closed for the entire time while the outdoor temperature is above the temperature in your home.
- Open the windows late in the evening and keep them open over overnight and early in the morning. Also, create air drafts while outdoor temperature is lower than the indoor temperature.
- Turn off any household appliance that you do not need at the moment.
Recommendations to protect children from the effects of heat
- Create an environment as normal as possible, protected from heat, excessive humidity, and air drafts.
- In the hottest periods of summer, you should not introduce new foods to very young children. Ensure proper hydration of children, and dress them in comfortable clothes made from natural fibers.
- Children should not be taken outdoors during the hottest hours of the day, and they always should wear hats outside home.
- Children should be given plain water, very lightly sweetened tea, and homemade natural fruit juices without any additives and preservatives. Mothers should avoid drinking coffee or alcohol.
- If you notice the smallest sign that a child or a mother with a very young child is suffering from heat, take them to the family doctor who can decide on the most appropriate treatment. The hygiene of mothers and children should be even higher a priority than usual; the clothing of children and their diapers should be always clean and dry.
- Preschool age children should be showered with room temperature water.
Recommendations for the elderly and for people suffering from chronic illnesses
- Create an environment that does not to burden their capacity of adaptation to the environment.
- Ensure proper hydration by plain water, lightly sweetened tea, and homemade natural fruit juices without any preservatives and additives.
- Give meals mainly containing good quality, fresh vegetables, and fruit.
- Elderly and chronically ill people should be given only fresh foods bought from shops that are equipped with functioning refrigerators, so they can keep food fresh. Avoid giving easily perishable foods.
- Alcohol and coffee should not be consumed at all in hot weather.
- As much as possible, avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day. If this is necessary, wear light clothing made from natural fibers and a sunhat.
- People suffering from chronic illnesses should continue their treatment according to the physician’s recommendations. During hot spells, persons suffering from chronic cardiovascular, liver, kidney, lung, circulation, or mental chronic illnesses or hypertension should consult their doctor regarding the adaptation of the therapy to hot weather conditions.
- People suffering from chronic illnesses should pay close attention to personal hygiene, including taking 3–4 showers a day if possible.
Recommendations for people who work jobs that require high physical effort
- Excessive effort should be avoided as much as possible during the hottest hours of the day. If the heat is uncomfortably high, all activities should be paused.
- Providing mineral water, plain water, tea, homemade natural fruit juice without preservatives is important for maintaining the hydration of employees.
- It is recommended to avoid drinking coffee or any kind of alcoholic beverages during hot periods.
- Wear appropriate clothing made from natural fibers and equipment for the protection of the head and the skin from the effects of excessive heat.
Recommendations for employers
For improving work conditions:
- Reduce the intensity and rhythm of physical activities
- Ensure good ventilation at workplaces
- Alternate dynamic and static physical efforts
- Alternate work periods with rest periods that should take place in shady and well ventilated places
To protect the health of the employees:
- Provide a sufficient quantity (2–4 L) of mineral water per employee per shift
- Provide individual protective equipment
- Provide opportunity for showers whenever possible.