How can city inhabitants get along with summer heat? Life hacks for people (and animals)

    19 Jul 2021

    Lets’ check a few Meduza advice on how to manage current heat.

    First: drink water, not alcohol

    Of course, if your body needs fluid, it will signal this in the form of thirst. This helps keep you hydrated. But some organizations recommend drinking in hot weather even before you feel thirsty.

    Do not overdo it. In rare cases, people who drink a lot develop a condition called hyponatremia. Sometimes it is life-threatening. But here, you really need to try hard: for example, drink three to four liters of water at a time or 12 liters during the day. This is more common among marathon runners and other athletes. But, again, these are pretty rare cases.

    In any case, try not to over-tighten the liquid. It’s good if you always have it at hand. For example, when going for a walk with your dog, do not forget to take water for it and yourself. It is even better to take cold water with you in a thermos – this will help cool but from the inside.

    Alcohol is not considered a helpful remedy during the heat: it makes a person lose more fluid through the excretion of urine. Therefore, it is especially not recommended to abuse it at high temperatures.

    Some reputable medical organizations say that tea and coffee are also poor choices because of the caffeine they cause excess urine production and, consequently, lead to dehydration. This statement has been refuted in research. On the other hand, drinking hot drinks in the heat is not a good idea: they certainly do not contribute to cooling.

    Chill out in every way you can

    If you have an air conditioner, stick with it for as long as possible (especially from 11 am to 3 pm). These devices can be helpful as long as the room temperature does not rise above 32° C. Then they just drive hot air and do not cool enough to protect against overheating. But if you spray water on yourself, the fan will help cool. The fact is that we also cool down thanks to the evaporating liquid from the surface of the skin. And even without a fan, splashing water on yourself is a good way to cool down. You can also wash and pour water on the back of your head. Or even take a cool shower or bath.

    Clothing should be light and loose. (The inhabitants of the Persian Gulf, with their light traditional attire, realized this much earlier than the Europeans, on whom climate change has fallen only now – Ecolife).

    Close the curtains on the sunny side. If it is colder indoors than outdoors, do not open windows. Perhaps an excellent will become stuffy at some point, and then the windows can be opened – but you need to come up with another way not to overheat. For example, arrange a draft. It should work like a fan.

    Avoid anything that raises the temperature: cook less on the stove and in the oven, eat less hot and satisfying, exercise less (and if you really want to, do it in a cooler time of the day and increase the load gradually: the body should get used to physical activity in the heat).

    Do not leave children and animals in the car

    This is really important. Even if you plan to leave your child or pet in the car “for a minute” and with the window ajar, it can turn into a disaster. During hot weather, the temperature in the car rises very quickly. Something can delay you, distract you – cases when loving, caring parents forget their children in the car, and they die often happen. However, this occurs because the child falls asleep, and the parent forgets that someone is traveling with him. To prevent this, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend keeping a soft toy in the child seat at all times, and if the child sits in the seat, put the toy near the driver. It’s great if you always look at the back seat when you close the car.

    You can leave the antiseptic gel in the car – it will not explode (in case you were afraid of it).

    Help those who are in a worse state – and who are dear to you

    There are people for whom the heat is a particular threat. For example, young children, those who are 65 years of age or older, people with severe chronic diseases, with dementia, people taking diuretics and some other drugs. Therefore, if you have the opportunity, try to take care of them more than usual. For example, arrange for a doctor’s consultation. In some cases, during the heat, people with various diseases need to adjust their therapy or diet. Or call your older relatives a couple of times a day to see how they are doing during the heat and remind them of basic safety rules. By the way, it is essential for them to drink even before the thirst signals because this mechanism may not work as well for them as before. Children should also be reminded to drink.

    Remember the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion

    There are several conditions that are directly related to fever and need immediate help. This is heat exhaustion and heatstroke. In both cases, the point is that the body cannot cool effectively, it overheats, and specific symptoms appear.

    With heat exhaustion:

    · a person has a headache;

    ·  instability and slight confusion appears;

    · a person loses appetite;

    · they feel sick;

    · they sweat profusely, while the skin is pale and clammy;

    · they have muscle spasms in his arms and legs;

    · they have abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea;

    · a person breathes frequently, or its heart beats frequently;

    · body temperature is 38° C or higher;

    · a person is very thirsty.

    If there are such symptoms, you need to move to a cool place, lie down, raise your legs, start drinking. You can place an ice pack wrapped in cloth around your neck and under your arms. You can also sprinkle water on yourself and put a fan next to it so that the water evaporates and cools. Antipyretics do not help in this situation.

    If heat exhaustion progresses, it will turn into heatstroke, which requires more intensive care. Therefore, if after half an hour of trying to cope with heat exhaustion, it does not get better, you need to urgently consult a doctor. But heatstroke symptoms can appear suddenly. They are:

    · a person does not sweat (unless heatstroke occurred during physical activity);

    · body temperature is 40° C or higher;

    · they breathe fast;

    · they are disoriented;

    · they started having seizures;

    · they passed out.

    Help pets

    The principles of helping animals are not very different from the principles of helping yourself.

    The animal should appear outdoors during the coolest time of the day; that is, it would be good to walk the dog early in the morning and/or late in the evening.

    Make your walks shorter. For the rest of the time, try to entertain your dog at home; for example, teach it new commands.

    The animal should always have access to cold water (you can put ice cubes in a bowl of water).

    The animal should always have access to a shaded, cool area.

    Avoid running or cycling with your dog.

    If the sidewalk is hot, it is better to walk on the grass (you can touch it with your fingers, hold it for five seconds, and if you are very hot, then the dog will be hot).

    Brush the animal. It can also be cut (but not shaved: wool protects against sunburn).

    You can apply sunscreen to the nose and tips of the ears of your dog or cat. There are special sunscreens for animals, but it is challenging to buy them in non-Western countries. Therefore, you can also use products for children. Only there should be no warnings about the danger when ingested. This suggests that there are toxic components. For example, zinc oxide and para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) are toxic to dogs. It is a good idea to discuss your choice of sunscreen with your veterinarian.

    Give frozen toys and treats to your pet.

    If possible, have the dog bathe in a kiddie pool or in a larger body of water (but note that not all dogs swim well – be careful here; it is also safer if the dog is fully vaccinated). You can also spray it with water.

    Place a damp towel for the animal to lie on, or wrap an ice pack in a towel and place it near the animal.

    Cover windows that do not have a safety net to protect animals from falling.

    Suppose a dog or cat breathes very often. In that case, it has an unusually high saliva flow, its tongue or gums are red, it is very lethargic or, conversely, restless, moves strangely, it vomits or has diarrhea, it has lost consciousness, urgently contact your veterinarian. Before that, you need to move it to a cool place, offer her water, put towels soaked in cool water on the back of the neck, under the arms, and in the groin area. Ears and paws can also get wet. To enhance the effect, you can place a fan next to it.

    According to one British study, there is a higher risk of overheating and being hospitalized in nine breeds (mostly with flat faces): Bulldogs, French Bulldogs, Dogo de Bordeaux, Chow Chows, Pugs, Greyhounds, English Springer Spaniels, Cavalier King Charles – spaniels and golden retrievers. Also at risk are dogs under two years of age and over 12, dogs that weigh more than 50 kilograms or more than usual for their breed.

    Check your home medicine cabinet

    For drugs to retain their properties, they must be stored at a specific temperature indicated on the package. Therefore, if you have a fever at home, check your medicine cabinet and figure out where to move medications that cannot be stored at high temperatures. At the same time, you can find and dispose of all expired drugs.

    Find how to have fun safely

    Escaping the heat during a pandemic is an asterisk challenge. Various organizations in past years have advised going to shopping malls and other public places where it is cool. Now, this advice looks dubious. Therefore, if you have to be at home a lot, it is better to come up with some fabulous entertainment.

    For example, you can start cooking or learn to cook new dishes (but those that don’t need a stove or oven!). Or just don’t make unnecessary gestures and watch exciting videos.

    And you can also just try to get enough sleep.

    Tags animals heat

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