Very high temperatures and humidity can present a risk to our health, and we can be particularly susceptible to heat – related illness as we get older. Follow these steps to protect yourself:
- Eat a balanced diet to help your body replace any salt you lose by sweating. Try to have more cold foods, particularly salads and fruits as they contain a lot of water.
- Be careful when eating, especially outside. Hot weather causes bacteria to multiply quickly and increases our risk of food poisoning. Bring chilled food home quickly and put straight in the fridge.
- Keep hydrated. Drink 6-8 glasses of water or fruit juices a day even if you’re not thirsty, and keep a bottle of water with you when you’re outdoors.
- Dress appropriately. Wear a hat and loose-fitting, light-coloured clothes. Opt for open-toed sandals and avoid flip flops which can be hard to walk in. Sandals that fasten with Velcro are a good idea if your feet swell up in the heat.
- Avoid strenuous physical activity or housework when it’s very hot.
- Stay out of the sun during hottest parts of the day (usually 11am-3pm).
- Consider ways to keep your home cooler. Keep curtains and blinds closed in rooms that catch the sun. There may be appliances in the house that are generating heat, so turn them off where possible.