Phew, what a scorcher! This summer has already broken records, with May being the warmest ever, June in the top five hottest since 1910 and July looking like it could be a record breaker too.
But many find high temperatures difficult to cope with, and they can be dangerous for some, including the elderly and very young.
Here’s how to try and stay safe, cool and comfortable in the sunny weather.
It seems counter-intuitive, but in hot weather wearing more clothes can help keep you cool.
Wearing light-coloured, loose-fitting items keeps the skin shaded and less hot. You might have noticed people living in the warmest parts of the world are often covered top-to-toe.
Eat less, but more fruit
Try and avoid big meals, as the process of digestion uses a good deal of energy which heats up the body. Eat more salads and simple grilled fish and meat dishes.
Try and eat more fruit than you usually would, especially melons, oranges and mangos.
Similar to covering the body to keep it shaded, closing curtains and keeping the sun out of rooms will help keep the air temperature within the home lower.
Drink more water than you normally do – six to eight glasses is the usual daily recommended amount – and dab it on parts of the body which can help cool your whole system down, such as the temples and wrists.
Opening windows and doors both at the front and rear of where you live helps to circulate air. Remember to place them on the latch rather than leaving them wide open, and always shut them on leaving the house to reduce the risk of burglary.
Shower in cool water
Showering or bathing in cool water is just about the best way of quickly reducing your body’s temperature, for obvious reasons.
Go easy on tea and coffee
There are plenty of Brits who drink at least three or four cups of tea or coffee a day. However, both are diuretics, which encourage the body to get rid of fluid, which isn’t what you need in hot weather.
Ice in front of fans
If you use electric fans, place ice in a dish in front of the fan and it will push the cooled air around the ice on into the room.
In addition to staying cool, there are a few safety precautions you should take too:
- Don’t leave electronics, such as mobile phones, out in the sun as it can permanently damage the battery.
- Don’t start bonfires in your garden as in extremely dry conditions, such as now, garden grass, plants and trees can easily catch alight.
- Be careful where you leave glasses and mirrors, or other objects which can refract the sun’s rays. House and garden fires sometimes start this way
- Make sure you wear sunscreen, and limit exposure to the sun’s rays, as it can cause severe burning as well as heatstroke and delirium.
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