Extreme heat

An extreme heat causes the highest number of deaths of all weather-related hazards, annually. In recent years, heat with air temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, has become increasingly frequent, lasting even for several weeks. As temperatures rise, the risk of dehydration and overheating increases. The heat can lead to sun or heat stroke, which is a health or even life threatening condition. The elderly, children, the sick and overweight people are more exposed to an extreme heat. High air humidity raises the individual feeling of warmth.

Before

• Find places in your area to cool down
• Secure your house:
o Cover windows with curtains or blinds
o Use window reflectors made of cardboard covered with aluminium foil to reflect the heat back to the outside
o Install window air conditioners
• Learn how to recognize the symptoms of heat-related diseases

During

• Don’t leave a child, an adult or an animal inside a car in a warm day
• Find places with air conditioning. Libraries, malls and community centres may become a place to relax from the heat
• If you’re outside, find a shade. Wear a hat wide enough to protect your face
• Children and the elderly shouldn’t leave the house. If necessary, equip them with a headgear
• Wear loose, light-coloured clothes
• Drink plenty of fluids to keep yourself hydrated
• Don’t use electric fans when the temperature outside exceeds 35 degrees Celsius – it may increase the risk of heat-related diseases
• Remember that fans produce airflow and a false sense of comfort, but don’t lower a body temperature
• Avoid high-energy activities
• Check if any of your family members have any signs of heat-related illness

Heat-related symptoms and responses:

Hyperthermia
Symptoms: Muscle pains or cramps in the stomach, arms or legs
Actions: Go to a cooler place, remove excess clothing and drink cold drinks. Seek for medical help if the contractions last longer than an hour

The sun stroke
Symptoms: Severe sweating, pallor, muscle spasms, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting or fainting
Actions: Go to an air-conditioned place and lie down. Loosen or take off your clothes. Take a cool bath and drink cool drinks with salt and sugar. Seek for medical help if symptoms get worse or last more than an hour

The heating stroke
Symptoms: Extremely high body temperature (above 39 Celsius degrees), red, hot and dry skin without sweat, fast, strong pulse, dizziness, distraction or unconsciousness
Actions: Call 112 or take the patient to hospital immediately. Cool down the body using all available methods

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