How can you protect yourself in extreme heatwave?

According to the meteorological service, in the coming days are expected to bring extreme heat throughout the country. How can you deal with the heat and keep healthy?

 Metzitzim Beach, June 1, 2023. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Metzitzim Beach, June 1, 2023.

An extreme heatwave is expected to make its way through Israel starting on Wednesday, according to a report by Israel Meteorological Service, and is expected to worsen toward the end of the week.

The Health Ministry has put together some important advice on how to avoid damage to your health from the heat.

For the elderly population and patients with chronic diseases in particular, it is recommended to be careful and avoid as much possible exposure to heat and the sun, avoid physical exertion that is not necessary, and make sure to drink water and be in air-conditioned places as much as possible. However, preparing for extreme heat is not limited to this list.

Creating a place to cool down

During the peak hours of the heat, is recommended to stay in a place that has air conditioning. It is not necessary to turn on the air conditioner at all hours of the day, but it is important to do so during the peak heat hours. If you do not have air conditioning, it is recommended to stay for several hours in an air-conditioned public place and reduce the duration of your stay in the heat.

Fans help, but when the temperature rises above 35 degrees Celsius, they are unable to cool you down. During the heat, it is recommended to close blinds and curtains to reduce the penetration of the sun's rays. Beyond that, it is recommended to bathe in cool water and wear light and comfortable clothes.

Caution when going outside

Avoid going outside during the hours of peak heat. You should limit the activities outside the house to the early morning hours or the evening hours.

During the hottest hours, it is advisable to rest. It is recommended to reduce strenuous physical activity in hot weather. If you must do physical activity, be sure to drink a larger amount of water during the activity to avoid dehydration.

If you have to go outside, make sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat, wear sunglasses, wear light and comfortable clothes and apply sunscreen.

Warning: Never stay (or leave another person) in a parked vehicle with the windows closed.  

Adequate eating and drinking 

Drink increased amounts of cold water or other soft drinks. It is preferable to avoid sugary drinks, drinks containing caffeine and alcohol. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water per day - even without feeling thirsty!

Exercise extreme caution 

If any of the following conditions apply to you, you should consult your doctor: Cardiovascular diseases, obesity, other chronic diseases, mental illnesses, and acute illness or dehydration. Other vulnerable populations are people who are treated with drugs that act on the central nervous system, such as medication for relaxation, sleep, Parkinson's disease, and certain mental disorders. These drugs may increase the sensitivity to injury from heat.