Heatwave Alert! 10 Ways To Cope. Over the last couple of days, some parts of the country have experienced high temperatures. Unfortunately, we are still going to experience heatwave in the next couple of days, according to weather forecasts. The persistent scorching temperatures will affect Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga, Free State, and parts of the Northern Cape.
Having noted that, it’s very, crucial to stay cool and protect yourself from preventable heat injuries and conditions like heat-stroke. Heat-stroke can lead to loss of consciousness and serious complications, including permanent damage to vital organs or even death.
Here is how one can try cope with the unbearable heat.
Thirst is the first sign of dehydration; you should drink sufficient amounts of fluids before you feel thirsty in order to prevent dehydration. Consume more water than you usually do when it’s hot. Have a water bottle within reach as you go about your day and remind yourself to drink up and prevent dehydration.
2. Avoid Alcoholic Beverages and Caffeine
Alcoholic beverages and caffeine, can act as diuretics and promote dehydration. Alcohol, can make you feel good briefly, but makes the heat’s effects on your body worse. This is especially true about beer, which actually dehydrates the body. Avoid coffee, energy and alcoholic drinks altogether!
3. Eat Small Meals and Eat More Often
Large, heavy meals are more difficult to digest and cause your body to increase internal heat to aid digestion, worsening overall conditions. Avoid foods that are high in protein, such as meats and nuts, which increase metabolic heat.
4. Use Water To Cool Down
Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandannas can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day
5. Stay Cool Indoors
Many of us will need to stay safe at home during this period, so know how to keep your home cool. During these unbearable days, try to keep your activity levels low if possible. If you have some manual work to do, try to do it when the weather is at its coolest: early or late in the day. If you have a basement, spent the day there, as it’s much cooler.
6. Stay In The Shade
When you’re in the outdoors, make sure you stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Carry an umbrella or wear a hat if you have to. Most importantly, apply a generous amount of sunscreen (high SPF!) to protect your skin from the searing sun. If possible, walk under trees and sheltered walkways for shade.
7. Eliminate Extra Sources of Heat
Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat, as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.
8. Dress Cool
It’s not always fashion first, so don’t worry about what you look like. Wear light colors, as dark colors absorb more of the light, converting it into heat. Wear loose garments that can allow air to get in, and also invest on a hat with ventilation. Materials like cotton and linen are more breathable, absorbing sweat and encouraging ventilation.
9. Visit Public Buildings With Air Conditioning
Air conditioned locations are the safest places during extreme heat because electric fans do not cool the air. During the hottest hours of the day if the heat becomes unbearable, libraries, shopping malls, and movie theaters can all be good places to cool down.
10. Look Out For Young Ones
Babies and young children should be watched carefully during hot weather. They can quickly lose body fluids through perspiring, which can lead to dehydration. They need to drink regularly, wear light clothing and be kept cool. Never leave babies or young children in cars. The temperature inside parked cars can double within minutes.
Stay updated with weather forecasts to ensure you and your loved ones remain safe and well.