By Peter McLaren-Kennedy • 16 July 2022 • 13:54
The extreme heat warnings that remain in force as of July 16, are threatening property and lives in those countries affected.
Spain has already recorded 237 heat-related deaths in just five days of hotter weather with the worst yet to be experienced. Similar figures are anticipated in Portugal whilst the NHS in England has said that on average hot weather kills more than 2,000 annually.
According to the Charles III Health Institute in Spain the main causes of death are overheating (prevalent in babies, older people and the bed-ridden), dehydration (outdoor workers, the elderly and those undertaking strenuous activities), heat stroke and exhaustion (outdoor workers, walkers, hikers, beach goers and other spending extended periods in the sun).
Anyone can be affected by a heatwave, but some are more vulnerable than others. These people will often need help in protecting themselves from the heat, including:
1. Older people and particularly those over the age of 75.
2. People with underlying conditions including heart problems, lung conditions, diabetes and even dementia.
3. Babies, bed bound and other people who have difficulty cooling down.
4. Drug addicts and alcoholics.
5. Outdoor workers and people spending time in the sun who are not used to doing so.
6. Those that live in homes that are not well ventilated.
with some many people expected to die in the heat that will be with us for some time yet it is important that you:
1. Make sure everyone is well hydrated with cool water
2. Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake
3. Stay indoors and in shaded and well-ventilated spots
4. Stay out of the direct sunlight and use sunscreen
5. Restrict strenuous activity to the coolest times of the day
6. Don’t leave anyone in a parked car, especially babies and pets
If you do see someone who is dizzy or confused, who is struggling to breathe or has a heightened heart rate then take action to help them cool down. If concerned get immediate medical advice.
Keeping you and your loved ones safe is common sense, but it’s easy to forget those that may need your help when you are enjoying your holidays or just busy with your own life.
With more than 2,000 people expected to die because of the heat, it is important that you take the warnings seriously and that you apply common sense. Don’t take chances, you could find yourself at the end of a very hard lesson.
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Originally from South Africa, Peter is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for the Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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