How can we protect ourselves from heat?

(iqra anis, Karachi)

First of all, let’s define what a heatwave is. A heatwave is defined as three or more consecutive days of hot weather during which temperatures are extremely high during the day and especially at night. When the temperature reaches or exceeds 30°C and the humidex reaches or exceeds 40°C, Environment Canada issues an “extreme heat warning.” During a heatwave, it is crucial to be proactive to prevent sunstroke or dehydration. The signs of heat stress such as muscle cramps, headaches, dizziness, fever, fatigue, and drowsiness should also be monitored very closely.

There are a number of things you should do during a heatwave. It is essential to protect yourself from the heat, cool off, drink and continue to eat.

Protect yourself from the heat:

Stay inside during the hottest part of the day, i.e., 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Wear a hat and lightweight, light-colored clothing.
Stay in the shade as often as possible.
Always have a bottle of water on hand.
Close the blinds and curtains in rooms exposed to the sun.
Open your windows during the coolest times of day, i.e., at night and early in the morning.
Close the windows when the temperature is hotter outside than inside.

Cool off:

Take a lukewarm bath or shower regularly.
Mist your face with Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray.
Moisten your clothes if necessary.
Stay in cool locations (e.g. malls or stores that have air conditioning).
Drink and continue to eat:

Don’t drink alcohol.
Drink other fluids as much as possible (water, fruit juice, etc.).
Eat as you usually do, splitting up meals if necessary and consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables.
You are also advised to turn off the lights and any electrical appliances you’re not using—you don’t want them to generate heat during a heatwave!

Now you’re all set to beat the heat this summer!

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