Heatwave Precautions Tourists Must Learn To Take Serious

By | Tuesday, Aug 6, 2013

The extremely hot weather all around Europe right now is making it difficult for tourists as well as the inhabitants themselves and I’m not talking about keeping the Champagne cool. With temperatures even a bit over 40C, there are several warnings to listen to and take serious. People (or you yourself) might die if you don’t.

tourist woman with water bottle
© bertys30, Fotolia.com

In our favorite winter escape country Spain, it’s a heat wave coming with extremely hot winds from Sahara in the South, but even the islands out in the Atlantic ocean or in the north of Spain has a horrible heat wave. When looking at my weather app the latest month or so, Costa del Sol in Spain have had at least 10C degrees more than Rio de Janeiro in Brazil!

Even places in European countries which are not really known to have the hottest weather (like Scandinavia and UK) are also gonna have a hot week with higher temperatures than normally accoarding to the weather forecasts.

The heat make it risky not only to get a heat stroke and especially for already ill or old persons, but also the danger of fire breakouts. Many tourists are not taking it seriously and take precautions to avoid start of fires: not cautious enough when BBQ’ing or with their cigarettes thrown in the extremely dry nature.

Never, ever throw your cigarettes in the nature! Always put out your cigarettes in some water to be 100% sure they are put out. Never BBQ in the nature during heatwaves! At other times, always have water with you (or use sand) to suppress the fire. Make sure an extra time that it’s really put out. You don’t wanna be the cause of people losing their homes, do you?

Never ever leave either your kids or your pets in the car alone during a hot day, not even for a few minutes. If they already are dehydrated or on the way to get a heat stroke, minutes can be enough to be dangerous. If they look like they are not really feeling OK: get cold water to them FAST! Shower them with it as well as let them drink a lot of the water. Read my tips on How to keep your dog cool while traveling.

I have noticed before that people are generally not thinking of the risks with the heatwave – probably persons that is not so very used to heatwaves. Locals tend to know what to do, so if you happen to be a tourist in a heatwave: ask the locals what they do to cool down.

Most well known precautions to avoid a heat stroke:

  • Stay out of the sun in the mid of the day 11pm to 03pm
  • Wear appropriate clothes: loose fitting, thin clothing and protect the head from the sunrays with a hat or scarves
  • Use sunscreen – don’t forget to apply several times during day!
  • Use quality sunglasses with proper UV-protection
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine which can cause dehydration
  • Avoid spicy food (except from salt you need it in the heat)
  • No extensive exercise or sightseeing to avoid getting too hot and dehydrated
  • Drink as much water as possible a day
  • Cool down with water: showers, pool or sea dipping
  • Rinse your wrists under cold water, splash cold water in your face, neck, shoulders, back and in the fold of your knees
  • Learn to listen to your body, don’t overdo things
  • Make sure you never fall asleep in the sun!

Another maybe not so wellknown precations for tourists (from colder countries) which the locals know well, is to put wet towels in the fridge to get cold and put them over your body to cool down – repeat as neeeded.

Also if you have place for it in your freezer, you could put a plastic bag with your bed sheets in the freeze for a couple of hours before bedtime to easier be able to fall asleep. (You always need a good night sleep to cope well the day after).

I always pack ready fluid replacement bought from the pharmacy with me when traveling, which can come in handy not only when you lost fluid because of heat, but also after vomiting or stomach diseases. If you have not packed it, you can make it yourself as below.

How to make a fluid replacement for grownups:

  • 1 liter cooked water, let it cool
  • 6 teaspoons sugar
  • Half a teaspoon salt
  • Optional: drops of lemon

Drink it in small portions but often. The fluid replacement can be stored maximum 24 hours in the fridge. Don’t give it to children, they might not be able to handle that much salt, buy ready fluid replacement in the pharmacy for them. The most obvious sign of dehydration is that they don’t pee anything or having a darker pee than normally, but there are many other signs where headache is a common one that I myself always get.

Do you have any other tips to cool down or avoid being dehydrated? Please leave them in the comment or leave a link to the information.

Love Heatwave Advices