The Spanish government has issued some valuable and timely advice on how to minimise the effects of high temperatures during summer.
Operating under the auspices of the ministry of health, the National Plan of Preventive Actions aims to combat the effects of excessive temperatures by recommending a series of measures to prevent and reduce the negative effects of heat on health. This is especially important among vulnerable groups such as the elderly, pregnant women, minors and people with chronic illnesses, as well as others who work or do strenuous activities outdoors.
According to the ministry, “Hot days force the human body to make an adaptive effort to maintain normal body temperature. Excessive heat can disrupt our vital functions when the body is unable to compensate for variations in body temperature, and can lead to problems such as sunstroke or heat exhaustion, and it can even aggravate existing pathologies.”
Following these 10 general recommendations will minimise damage to health caused by excessive temperatures, and help ensure tourists can safely enjoy Murcia and the Costa Cálida’s sunny climate and beaches.
- Drink water and fluids frequently, even if you do not feel thirsty and regardless of your physical activity.
- Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or highly-sweetened beverages, which can promote dehydration.
- Although anyone can suffer from a heat-related problem, pay special attention to babies and young children, pregnant or breastfeeding mothers, elderly people and people with illnesses that can be aggravated by heat (those with heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, pathologies that hinder mobility, dementia and other mental illnesses, and those that abuse drugs or alcohol).
- Stay as far as possible in cool, shady or air-conditioned places, and cool down as needed.
- Try to reduce physical activity and avoid outdoor sports in the middle of the day.
- Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing.
- Never leave anyone in a parked and locked vehicle (especially minors, the elderly and chronically ill people).
- Consult your health care professional for symptoms that last more than an hour and may be related to high temperatures.
- Keep your medicines in a cool place; heat can alter their composition and effects.
- Eat light meals to help replenish salts lost through sweating (salads, fruit, vegetables, juices, etc.).