So you deal with extreme heat This way you get around with extreme heat

Tips for a heat wave

Extreme heat is no fun for anyone. Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children and people with a chronic condition can even have serious health problems. Therefore some tips to suit your home and lifestyle to the weather.

Extremely hot weather can cause complaints such as fatigue, concentration problems, dizziness and headache. In severe situations, dehydration may develop cramps, nausea, exhaustion, fainting or even unconsciousness. In addition, skin problems may occur such as itching and rashes.

Risk groups

Older people are the biggest risk group for complaints related to hot weather. People with chronic illness, people in social isolation, homeless people, overweight people and (very) young children are also among the risk groups. In addition, the use of certain medications, alcohol or drugs may increase the risk of sustained warm weather.

If you grow older, your body is not working as effectively as before. You have less thirsty, your kidneys work less and your body cools less easily with sweat. This will cause you to dry out faster.

Extra risk

In addition, senior citizens are more likely to suffer from illnesses that make them less heat resistant, such as heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, diabetes and gastrointestinal disorders. Even a simple infection with vomiting and diarrhea can cause severe dehydration in heat. Medications, such as diuretics, can help dry out and even psychopharmacs can be dangerous: due to the calming effect, the patient may be less alert and not aware of his drinking pattern.

Drinking and cooling

  • Drink: Drink two liters of water each day. Preferably water and no alcohol. In addition to water, you can also drink juices, broth and milk.
  • Prepare when you go out: take a bottle of water, wear light colored cotton or linen clothes and wear something on your head.
  • Keep a siesta: Stay in between 11 and 16 hours and do not make great efforts during those hours. Give yourself a tropical timetable/planning and have a refreshing afternoon sleep.
  • Eat Healthy: Vegetables and fruits contain many vitamins and salts in addition to water. Keep in mind that it's "bad days"; The heat spoils food quickly. Do not store food for too long and keep them cool. You can not use a food infection now.
  • Cool off. Make your face, neck and wrists wet. Take a not too cold shower, foot bath, put a wet towel in the neck or spray yourself with the spray bottle. A fan can also help.
  • Seek help: When using diuretics, laxatives or psychopharmacals, you can consult your GP or pharmacist to temporarily adjust the dose. They can also provide additional information if there is a risk of dehydration.

High solar power

Extreme heat is often associated with high solar power, which causes skin burn. This leads to a greater risk of skin cancer. Upon sun radiation 6 to 7, the sensitive skin can burn already after 15 to 20 minutes. This is not immediately visible: in general, the skin turns red a few hours later. Between 11 and 16 hours the sun is at its strongest. And do not mistake it: the solar power does not depend on the temperature! Good rub with a high factor is important. It is also advisable to stay out of the sun between 11 and 16 hours.

Cool in the house

Now, you keep the heat out of your body, but how do you keep the warmth out of the living space?

  • Keep the sun out: Keep the slats, luxury windows or curtains closed and lower the sunshades or screens. Close doors and windows. As soon as the sun is under, you can open them for fresh air. Then really open as many windows as possible. If this is not possible, make sure that as many vents as possible are open.
  • Turn off electrical devices: electrical appliances provide heat. If you do not use devices like the TV, lights, and computer, turn them off.
  • Sleep fresh. Make sure your bed linen is airy and replace the blank or woolen duvet with a thin cotton duvet. Ventilate the room well, without drafts.
  • Use a fan, but make sure it is not directly facing you. Avoid large temperature fluctuations and drafts.

Keep an eye on

The summer period is a time when many people are on holiday. Especially people with few social contacts stays behind alone. It is therefore important that you keep an eye on each other. Call at agreed times or ask others to call you. You can also subscribe to an alarm system.

If you go as a caregiver on vacation, make sure you transfer the care to neighbors, family or home care. Give them a list of important phone numbers. Hand over the house key to a trusted person and call them at agreed times.
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