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10 Tips On How To Survive The Heat Wave

Nigeria is experiencing a heat wave at the moment. Nigeria has a dry and wet climate in alternating periods of the year which may be hot on some days – particularly in the dry season, the current spell of prolonged heat around the country is being described by many as the worst ever in recent history. It reached a peak of 42 degrees in some parts of the country- a level which may be detrimental to one’s health, causing dehydration and in severe cases, heat stroke – which is life-threatening. It may also worsen symptoms of current diseases.

Meteorologists have suggested that the intense heatwave is expected to continue till the rains set in later this year. Therefore, it is imperative to adapt to the times and survive the heat wave. In this article, we will run through some health tips for surviving a heatwave

Stay hydrated

Close-up of a woman drinking water from a bottle | Jess Kitchen

This is best achieved by drinking more water. You may elect to carry a container with you for immediate access when you are away from home or you may choose to purchase bottled water whenever necessary. Reduce your alcohol and caffeine intake because these drinks increase the process of dehydration. Drink water, even when you don’t feel thirsty.

Eat small but frequent meals to stay energised throughout the day

Ensure that your meals contain the necessary nutrients for optimum health. Include water-rich fruits such as watermelons, pineapples, berries, cucumber and other similar fruits in your meals.

Stay out of the sun

As much as possible, steer clear of the sun by staying indoors or in shaded areas. This is because, at high temperatures, dehydration sets in faster. Additionally, it increases the risks of developing skin cancer due to the effects of damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun. You can postpone outdoor activities at peak hours of sunlight, mostly in the afternoons between 12 and 3 pm.

Stay in the coolest parts of the house

If you have air conditioning, this is a great time to put it to use, especially at night. It is most effective when other sources of heat are eliminated, such as light bulbs. Ensure that your house or workplace is well ventilated and open the windows and shutters when it is safe to do so.

If you work outdoors, take frequent breaks to stay out of the sun.

this is important, especially during periods when you feel your temperature rise. You should also drink a lot of fluids.

Use sunscreen to protect your skin

Living wall acts as sunscreen that helps lower ambient temperature in courtyard and reduce heat absorption by the walls.

When you go out in the sun, it is important to apply sunscreen on your skin to shield your skin from the sun rays

It helps reduce the chances of developing pigmentation, wrinkles and skin cancer.

Take frequent showers whenever necessary

Water has a cooling effect which is very useful during periods of extreme heat. You can take several showers, use a wet cloth to mop your body or splash water on your body when necessary. Avoid strenuous activity if you can. This is because the more active you are, the more heat generated by your body.

Wear loose-fitting and light clothes

Loose clothing allows airflow in between the fabric and your skin, improving aeration. This reduces the heat generated and the amount of sweat produced. You should avoid very dark colours because they tend to absorb the sun’s rays, causing you to feel even hotter. Contrastingly, lighter colours reflect sunlight and keep you at a decent temperature, especially if the fabric is made of cotton.

Wear sunshades when you go out in the sun

Unisex sunglasses photo Pinterest

You should also wear a hat or a face-cap whenever you can.

Pay attention to the elderly, the sick and to children

These are the categories of people who are most likely to get affected by excessive heat. Never leave them alone in enclosed places or parked vehicles.

If you notice any changes in levels of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, extreme fatigue, seizures, chest pain or severe muscle cramps, in yourself or in persons close to you, contact your doctor immediately.

You should also follow weather reports and forecasts so as to plan your outdoor activities whenever necessary.

In this article:
Dr Zubair Abdulahiheat wave
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