For those who have been looking forward to summer, it has suddenly appeared in the form of unusually high temperatures for this time of year. So much so that, according to the State Meteorological Agency, we are experiencing a “heat peak” due to the entry of “an air mass of African origin, very hot and dry”. An unusual situation given that it is still May and there are Spanish cities that are above 40 degrees in the day and over 20 at night.
There are 13 communities on yellow alert (risk), according to Aemet: Aragón, Castilla-La Mancha, Catalunya, Extremadura, Comunidad de Madrid, Navarra, País Vasco and La Rioja, as in Andalucía, Castilla y León and Galicia, Where there is also a storm alert, as in Asturias and Cantabria.
According to AEMET, we are experiencing a peak, not a heat wave because it will last for fewer days
A heat wave is a period of high temperatures that lasts for a very long time and can cause health disturbances to humans if necessary measures are not taken. In this case, several days will not pass as the forecast indicates, which is why AEMET is talking about “peak heat”, but we will have to wait and see how the days go.
It is true that our bodies are natural resources for dealing with changes in temperature through a mechanism called thermoregulation. The human body responds to physiological changes and the blood vessels expand, the sweat glands increase their activity and we begin to sweat more. Thanks to this, more sweat is produced, which allows the body to cool down and reach balance.
But when the heat is severe, lasting for several days and sometimes accompanied by dampness, additional measures are required. In fact, the body shows signs that should warn us: fatigue and extreme thirst, headaches, facial congestion, muscle spasms, and in the worst cases, seizures and loss of consciousness.
Although it seems a severe case, there are very weak groups in this regard: the elderly, as age changes the ability to feel thirsty and because they do not need to drink fluids can become dehydrated, children, especially those under four years of age. Age – because they don’t taste good either and forgetting to provide them with the water they need can be fatal. Other groups at risk are obese individuals, patients with chronic diseases such as hypertension, migraine or diabetes, and people from the most disadvantaged sectors of our society, who constitute the main risk group.
According to the Council of General Nursing (CGE), to avoid problems, precautionary measures must be taken. This institution notes that it is advisable to wear light, comfortable and breathable clothing, as well as light shoes, wear a hat or hat and sunglasses, as well as sunscreen, and at home lower the curtains and close the windows from the heat.
In addition, it is necessary to avoid exposure to the sun in the middle of the day – from 12 noon to 5 pm – reduce physical activity and outdoor sports, stay as long as possible in cool places or in the shade, avoid prolonged exposure and drink water frequently . It is recommended to drink one and a half or two liters per day between water, juices and isotonic drinks and avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or sugary drinks that help lose body fluids.
Heat stroke and heat stress
Excessive heat, on the one hand, can cause heat stroke. It is caused by an increase in body temperature due to prolonged exposure to the sun or physical activity in hot environments. The other result is heat exhaustion, caused by several days of heat that causes excessive sweating that reduces body fluids and mineral salts.
How do you distinguish between heat stroke? Well, according to the CGE, in the case of heat stroke, we must be attentive to the symptoms, because if they occur, without urgent medical help, they can be fatal. If you notice dry skin, redness, rapid pulse, severe headache, dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness or cramps, nausea, vomiting and loss of consciousness, you should notify emergency services as soon as possible.
If we find such a person, while waiting for help, we must cool the body, undress, put it in a dark room with a cloth of cold water on the body or take a cool bath or shower, fan it and drink a little fresh water. Little by little if you are conscious.
When a person experiences fatigue, symptoms are weakness, fatigue, dizziness, nausea, or fainting. In this case, it is better to rest in a cool place, in a dark room and moisten it with juices and drinks diluted in water. However, if symptoms worsen or persist over time, it is recommended that you consult our reference healthcare professional, according to the CGE.
What do you do in high temperatures
Stay as long as possible in cool places and shower during the day.
Try to lower the blinds indoors so that the sun does not come directly in. Use fans, although they are not useful when the internal temperature exceeds 35°C.
Increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, as they help to replace lost minerals. And also in the form of cold creams, smoothies or smoothies.
Do not do outdoor activities at noon in the sweltering heat.
Wear light, breathable clothing and shoes, and wear a hat and sunscreen on the street.
Drink two liters of water daily.
If you show any sign of dehydration or heatstroke, go to the emergency room.