How to keep cool in the heat
Every year, high temperatures affect the health of many people, particularly older people, infants, people who work outdoors and those who are chronically ill. Heat can trigger exhaustion or heat stroke, and can make existing conditions such as cardiovascular, respiratory, kidney or mental diseases worse. Yet the adverse health effects of hot weather are largely preventable through good health practices.
During periods of hot weather, it is important to keep cool to avoid the negative health effects of heat.
- Keep your home cool. Use the night air to cool down your home, and reduce the heat load inside the apartment or house during the day by using blinds or shutters.
- Keep out of the heat. Avoid going out and engaging in strenuous activity during the hottest time of day, stay in the shade, do not leave children in parked vehicles and, if necessary, spend 2–3 hours of the day in a cool place.
- Keep your body cool and hydrated. Use light and loose-fitting clothing and bed linen, take cool showers or baths, and drink regularly while avoiding alcohol and caffeine.
If you or others feel unwell – dizzy, weak, anxious, are intensely thirsty or have a headache – seek help. Move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature. Drink water or fruit juice to rehydrate. If you have painful muscular spasms, rest immediately in a cool place, drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes and seek help if the heat cramps last more than an hour.