"It can be difficult to realise when we're becoming overheated so it's important to be aware of the warning signs, and don't ignore them once they start, as deterioration can be rapid."
Here are some tips for staying cool:
- Pay attention to weather reports and prevent the heat getting in: Temperatures above 37°C are particularly dangerous. Act early to prevent heat stress on days when the temperature is predicted to rise above 30°C by closing windows and blinds once the outside air is warmer than indoors.
- Avoid exposure: Stay out of the sun if possible. If not, wear a shirt, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen. Sunburn will affect your body's ability to cope with the heat.
- Cool off: Take a cool shower or tepid bath if you're feeling hot and flustered, soak your feet in cold water, and keep a spray bottle full of water handy to regularly mist yourself.
- Dress comfortably: Lose, light-weight clothing helps your body stay cool. Light-coloured clothing reflects heat and sunlight.
- Drink water, lots of it: By the time you feel thirsty your body is already dehydrating, so keep drinking fluids even if you don't feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol.
- Seek air conditioning: If you don't have air conditioning at home, spend the day somewhere that does, like a library, cinema or shopping centre. If you do have an air conditioner at home, make sure it has been serviced. Fans will also help you stay cool, but only if they're blowing directly on you.
- Lay off the hot drinks and caffeine in particular: Try iced tea or an affogato instead
- Take note of the colour of your urine: brown or dark yellow urine suggests dehydration.