“Heat waves are a particularly big challenge for vulnerable people. So please take care not only of yourself, but also of children and older people around you. And don’t hesitate to call an emergency number 144 if you have any critical symptoms,” Appeals Jürgen Grassl, Federal Training Manager of the Samaritan Association.
2. Drink enough, eat healthy
The most important thing is to drink enough. “Our body loses a lot of fluid through sweating – that’s why you should drink a lot when it’s hot, at least three liters a day. Tap water, mineral water or diluted fruit juices are recommended,” says Samaritan Grassl. Older people in particular often feel less thirsty and forget to drink enough fluids. “Encourage older people, but also children, to drink and contact single people regularly,” appealed the expert. Beverages that contain alcohol, sugar or caffeine should be avoided.
“Light food with lots of vegetables is good in summer,” says the environmental advice.
3. Dress properly
If you can, stay in the shade or in a darkened room during the day. For urgently needed outdoor activities, sun protection, a hat and airy clothing, preferably made of cotton, should be worn. “Children in particular should also wear a hat in the water to reduce the risk of sunstroke,” advises the Samaritan.
“The material of clothing is important in summer,” explains the environmental consultancy. Clothing made from natural fibers is much more airy than those made from synthetic fibers. Linen is particularly pleasant on the skin. On the other hand, clothing made of synthetic fibers can cause heat build-up in summer. You sweat even more and the sweat stays on your body because polyester can hardly absorb moisture. The sweat is decomposed there by bacteria, which leads to unpleasant odours.
Garments that are tightly woven, dark and dry offer the best protection. Special outdoor textiles have a UV protection factor comparable to the light protection factor of sun creams. “When buying UV protective clothing, in addition to the specified UPF, you should always make sure that it corresponds to UV standard 801. This measures the sun protection factor under the most unfavorable conditions and then certifies the lowest value that was achieved in all tests,” says it in a broadcast from IBG, Austria’s largest management consultancy in the field of company health management.
In addition, it is recommended to wear sunglasses.
4. Cool down
In order to keep the body at a healthy temperature, people suffering from heat can “put a damp cloth on the neck, take a cool footbath, dip the crook of your arm in cold water and take a lukewarm shower,” according to the environmental advice. Damp cloths hung up in the room or laundry on the drying rack also make the air more pleasant because the evaporation draws heat out of the air.
Consumer advocates think less of air conditioners. The models – there are two different types – count among the power guzzlers. Above all, the devices that are cheaper to buy are often inefficient in operation because they are poorly able to dissipate the heat.
Fans are a good compromise, as the environmental consultancy notes: The fan uses only a fraction of the energy that an air conditioner uses. It ensures that the heat in the room does not stand. The air brushing past the skin causes the same temperature to feel cooler. Another big advantage: Unlike air conditioners, fans do not heat up the ambient air in front of the window even more. There are also fans that spray water. Heat is extracted from the air through evaporation, and the air in the room feels less hot.
5. Check UV exposure
Anyone leaving the house can use a new mobile app to check the current UV radiation beforehand and see whether and when sun protection is necessary. “SunSmart Global UV App” was developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Weather Organization (WMO) and UN partners, it is available free of charge in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store – also in German. The aim is to warn people and thus reduce the risk of skin cancer and eye damage from UV radiation.