Unusual heat can pose serious health risks, such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Knowing how to stay cool is a must – especially if you don’t have air conditioning. Here are a few tips to help you keep your cool.
To decrease your risk of dehydration, drink plenty of cool liquids – especially water – before you feel thirsty. When you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
Dress for the weather
Check forecasts regularly so you know when to take action. On hot days wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric. Because sunburned skin is less efficient at sweating – and sweating is how your body naturally cools off – be sure to wear sunscreen that is at least SPF 30 and a wide-brimmed hat for protection.
Keep your home cool
Create meals such as a bean salad or cold noodle bowl that don’t need to be cooked in an oven. Block the sun by opening awnings and closing curtains or blinds during the day. And, if it’s safe to do so, open your windows at night to let cooler air into your home while the sun is down.
Beat the heat
If your home is extremely warm, try taking a cool shower or bath until you feel refreshed, and try to spend a few hours in a cool place. It could be a tree-shaded area, swimming facility or an air-conditioned spot like a shopping mall or public library.
Watch for symptoms of heat illness, including dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, or rapid breathing and heartbeat. If you have any of these symptoms during extreme heat, move to a cool place and drink liquids right away. Water is best.