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Ways to cope with a summer heatwave in Europe


During a heatwave, the main concerns include dehydration, heatstroke, and possible increased strain on your heart and lungs. That is why it is very important to take the necessary precautions to assure that you don’t succumb to unnecessary illness. Some groups of people are more at risk than others and these include children, especially infants, the elderly, and people who are ill. Extra care should be taken with these individuals.

Hydration

It is important to have a clean, safe water supply with you or close to you at all times. Make sure to have little sips of water throughout the day. Some fitness watches can even remind you when to drink water or you can download an app to help you keep track. If you are sweating a lot and concerned about dehydration (headaches, dizziness, increased thirst, etc.), a sports drink, hydration sachet from a pharmacy, or even one of your own hydration mixes should be taken. Many hydration mixes can be found online. Most of these mixes are cheap and simple to make and include adding sugar and salt to a liter of water. Freeze bottles of water and have them throughout the day, they will cool you down instantly. Be extra careful with caffeine-containing drinks as they lead to dehydration and should, therefore, be kept to a minimum.

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Keep out of the sun

Avoid the sun between 11 am to 3 pm as the weather will be at its hottest during these times. If you have to be out and about during this time, make sure to wear a hat, have a good hydration water mix with you, and stay alert for signs of dehydration and heatstroke. A good sunblock should always be close at hand.

Clothing

Cotton clothing is the best option for a heatwave as the material is breathable and lightweight. Try and stick to only the minimum number of layers of clothing if possible. Wear light-colored clothing as dark-colored clothing absorbs more heat and will, therefore, make you feel much hotter.

Stay indoors

Try and close windows, blinds, and curtains on the hot side of the building and only open windows on the cooler side of the building. If air-conditioning is available, it should be set to a comfortable temperature. Otherwise, a fan can also be of great use. Take some water and splash yourself with it and then allow the fan to dry you. It is very effective at cooling people down quickly and is used as a first-aid method. Many people also suggest taking cold/mild showers or baths as this cools them down quickly and makes them feel much more comfortable throughout the day.

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Slow down

If you love being active or lead a very busy lifestyle, attempt to slow down a bit and watch yourself much more closely. Do less strenuous activities at the gym and be careful with sports.

Watch your pets

Keep an eye on your pets. Make sure that they always have a good water supply and that they are drinking their water. Do not let them spend too much time outdoors and if they are outdoors, make sure that there is shade available for them. Some food mixes can also be bought that contain a higher water content and this could be given to a pet exhibiting signs of dehydration.