How to keep your family fresh and safe during a heat wave

How to keep your family fresh and safe during a heat wave

Due to global warming, the average temperature worldwide has risen 0.7°C in the past 100 years. As a result, the number of people who suffer from heat-related illnesses with symptoms such as dizziness and nausea increases every year regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors. It is said that children who are always active and the elderly who have difficulty controlling their body temperature are especially susceptible. Here, we will introduce some keys to avoiding heat-related illnesses.


What are heat-related illnesses?

Heat-related illnesses include various problems that can result from exposure to hot environments. There is “Heat syncope” with symptoms such as dizziness and fainting due to lowered blood pressure related to the expansion of cutaneous blood vessels resulting in decreased blood flow to the brain. There is also “heat cramping” where muscles cramp causing pain to the legs, arms, and abdomen due to a decrease of sodium in the blood when people drink only water after sweating heavily. Other illnesses include “heat exhaustion” where a person experiences a general malaise, nausea, and headache due of insufficient fluid replacement after sweating resulting in dehydration, and “heat stroke” where people experience a loss of consciousness or shock when core functions do not work properly due to an increase in body temperature. To avoid such heat-related illnesses under harsh conditions, it is vital to control your body temperature.

Key 1: Replenish your fluids

The body is able to adjust its temperature by sweating when the temperature increases. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly replace the water in the body that is discharged by sweating. You may not feel thirsty when only slightly dehydrated, so it is important to drink sufficient water before you feel thirsty, not after. In addition, sweat contains a small amount of sodium, so it is also necessary to intake the right amount of salt with water after prolonged sweating.

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Key 2: Avoid direct sunlight, stay in the shade

It is said that heat-related illnesses occur faster when the environment is hot and humid because it is difficult for body heat to be discharged. If the temperature in the body and the ambient temperature both increase at the same time, the body is more likely to retain its heat. Therefore, especially when participating in heavy exercise or going out under direct sunlight, use a hat or other articles to protect yourself from the sun. If you begin to feel that something is wrong, immediately get into the shade and rest.

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