With large parts of England hit by a heatwave just a year ago, and meteorologists warning of similar weather alerts for September 2017, the experts at homecare provider, Helping Hands, share top tips on enduring extreme heat and avoiding overheating.
Overheating at any time can be a problem. Not only is it uncomfortable for the person involved, it can also lead to health problems and heat stroke, something that’s particularly dangerous for the elderly.
Recognise if you are overheating:
When it is particularly warm outside, it is important to know if you may be overheating. Look out for these symptoms:
- Confusion and other behavioural changes
- Feeling sick
- Feeling dizzy, weak or faint (and even fainting)
- Muscle spasms or cramps
- Swollen ankles
Top tips on keeping yourself or loved ones cool:
Keeping cool is not just about drinking plenty of iced water.
Take time to refresh - During warmer weather, having regular cooler showers, baths, or washes can be refreshing, and can lower body temperature. If you are planning on heading out, place some damp washcloths in a cool bag with an ice pack, so they are ready for you if you need to lower your temperature in a hurry.
- Take a rest - While it’s a good idea to maintain an active, healthy lifestyle, try to keep strenuous physical activity to a minimum when it’s warm. Doing too much in the heat can lead to dehydration, which can dramatically hinder the body’s ability to stay cool.
- Eat cool foods - Another great way to stay hydrated is to eat foods with a high water content. This includes salad foods such as cucumber, iceberg lettuce and celery; vegetables such as cauliflower and peppers; and fruits like strawberries, grapefruit and melon.
- Wear looser clothing - It goes without saying, but light, loose clothing made from cotton can also help to maintain a safe temperature. Avoid anything too tight fitting, and opt for clothes in white or pastel shades as these tend not to absorb heat like darker shades do.
- Avoid peak hours - If you or your loved ones need to go outside during the warm weather, try sticking to the coolest time of the day – before 11 am and after 3 pm.
Top tips on keeping your home cool:
Making sure the home is as cool as possible can help in avoiding overheating.
- Keep the heat out - When it’s a hot day, take steps to make sure the heat stays outside. To do this, keep curtains or blinds closed so the sun doesn’t shine into the home.
- Let the air flow through - Once the temperature outside has cooled to less than it is indoors, open any windows to allow any breeze to flow through the home.
- Keep the air cool - To help cool the air in and around the home, be sure to keep both house plants and outdoor plants nicely watered.
Discover further advice on keeping yourself or others cool during the warm weather here.