With almost 40 degrees, we expect the first very big heat wave of summer 2019 in the next few days. Reason for the German Weather Service to issue an official warning against heat for the coming days. It may be that the heat is a blessing for some people. But extreme temperatures can cause health problems and damage even for healthy adults. To avoid that, the health department has put together a few simple tips on this.
The be-all and end-all in the heat is drinking!But it's not just about the amount. You should also pay attention to an adequate mineral intake. That is, instead of low-sodium water should be switched to mineral-rich water. Salty snacks can also ensure the increased salt requirement due to sweating.
Don't drink drinks that contain caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar - these lead to increased fluid loss from the body. Also avoid very cold drinks as these can trigger stomach cramps. It is better to drink everything lukewarm. May not taste as good, but it's healthy.
Supportively, you can also eat melons, tomatoes and cucumbers, as these boost your fluid balance. Berry fruits are also a great alternative. In addition to vitamins, minerals and fibre, they also contain secondary plant compounds. These strengthen the heart and circulation, the vessels and the immune system and have an anti-inflammatory effect as well as regulating blood pressure.
Further, it is important to avoid physical exertion during extreme heat and stay in the sun. Stay indoors if possible (even in air-conditioned rooms if necessary). Visiting air-conditioned shopping, movie theaters, or libraries may also be recommended, as spending even just hours in air-conditioned rooms will keep your body cooler when you return to the heat.
Homes should be kept as cool as possible by darkening windows and should be ventilated, especially in the early morning and evening hours.
If you do have to go outside, then
try to take a break in the shade as often as possible.
Wear a wide-brimmed sun hat to protect yourself from the sun.
Wear sunglasses Put on sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
Wear light, non-fitting cotton clothing if possible
Although everyone suffers from high heat, some people are especially at risk. These include young children, people over 65 and people with physical illnesses, especially diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. These people should be checked regularly (at least twice a day) for signs of heat exhaustion and heat stroke, i.e. overheating, weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, and possibly nausea and vomiting. Children and especially infants, of course, need to be monitored and cared for even more closely.
And, unfortunately, this needs to be said over and over again: Never leave anyone in a closed, parked car.
Further information - especially also for old and sick people who are particularly endangered by strong heat, but also for doctors as well as for employees in nursing homes - can be found on the home page of the health department at http://www.gesundheitsamt.stadt-frankfurt.de