Millions of Brits will be travelling abroad this summer to escape the grey clouds and rain showers we’ve experienced so far this summer. For those lucky people who find warmer weather on foreign soil, it’s important to prepare properly for hot conditions and take the necessary precautions to protect your health.
Top of the priority list is sunscreen, of course. The dangers of overexposing skin to the sun are well documented and the need to protect against skin cancer with high factor lotion is quite rightly a hot topic at this time of year. However, what many holidaymakers don’t take into account is the need to take precautions against heatstroke.
What is heatstroke?
Heatstroke is a condition that causes the body to lose its ability to cool itself down, forcing body temperature to dangerously high levels. Heatstroke is a similar condition to sunstroke, which is caused by excessive and prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, and both can be extremely dangerous. While sunscreen can go a long way to protecting the body from the damaging effects of UV rays, a long day in the sun can still have debilitating side effects.
A form of extreme dehydration, heatstroke can cause my serious issues in a sufferer if they are not careful. The main effects of heatstroke are a general feeling of weakness, as well as dizziness and light-headedness or confusion. In more serious cases, heatstroke may even cause palpitations, disorientation and urinary problems such as a decreased output and infections like cystitis. Fainting from heatstroke is not uncommon, particularly for those that have failed to drink sufficient water or have consumed alcohol in place of a soft drink.
How to protect against heatstroke
So, how can you avoid heatstroke and ensure the very best summer health? Well, the best way is to make sure you stay cool and hydrated between the hours of 11am and 3pm, when the sun is typically at its most powerful and the temperature reaches its peak.
In the hottest countries around the world, this is the time when many people are warned to stay indoors. However, if you are committed to braving the heat and heading out to enjoy your surroundings, there are a number of precautions you may wish to take.
Add a 2-litre bottle of water, hat and T-shirt to your list of travel essentials. Maintaining fluid levels is particularly important as it helps the body to sweat – a natural process that will help cool the body. You may also wish to use the water to splash liberally over your face and clothes, which will also wick heat away from the surface of the skin.
It should also go without saying that large amounts of alcohol should be avoided in the hot weather. Drinking is one of the most common causes of dehydration and any alcohol consumed should be accompanied by an equal volume of water.
Other tips for keeping heatstroke at bay include taking regular cooling baths and eating food with a high water content, such as fruit.
As tempting as it may be to spend hours in the sun to work on your tan, always be careful to listen to your body’s needs and keep your health front of mind when travelling to warmer climes.
For more travel advice, why not visit our sister site www.expresstravelclinic.co.uk?