Heat: avoid full sun, drink a lot, don’t exert yourself and think about animals

Retreiver Flynt is bathing in the heat. It will survive the hot days. Photo: Greetje Wachtmeester-Vos

REGION – The tropical heat expected today, Tuesday and possibly Wednesday has significant consequences, which are underestimated with any heat wave. Severe sunburn, dehydration, exhaustion and smog lurk. Every tropical period in our region demands casualties among humans and animals.

There is a good chance that the temperature in the Peat Colonies will rise to above 35 degrees, possibly even towards 40. Then the body, which generates heat itself, can lose this heat much more difficult than normal. Especially with (heavy) physical work and sports. One way to get rid of excess heat and to prevent dehydration is to consume plenty of fluids. Coffee and tea are fine. It is a misunderstanding that this would withdraw moisture from the body. Alcohol is not a good thirst quencher because it means you have to go to the toilet more often, so that you dissipate proportionally more fluid. Water is the best thirst quencher.

Solar power ‘off the charts’

The solar power is extremely strong. The chance of burning the skin is therefore extremely high. Applying a good sunscreen lotion with a strong factor is therefore a must. Also for people who say they ‘are used to a lot of sun’. Be sure to watch out if you stay on the water. The water’s surface reflects the sun’s harmful UV light, bombarding you with UV radiation from above and below. Looking for shade is always a good idea with this hot weather.

The solar power of Monday and Tuesday. Remarkable: the weatheronline graph is not high enough to show the peaks of the solar power. Illustration: weeronline.nl

Even when the sun is gone, it stays warm. This is partly because during the day a lot of heat is stored in, for example, walls of buildings and roads. That heat is released again at night, so that it remains above average warm for a long time. Allow as little heat as possible into the house. So close blinds, lower the awnings and turn on the air conditioning if there is one. Let the air conditioner dissipate the heat outside. Sometimes people forget this. An air conditioner that does not discharge the warm air outside only moves warm air. Just like a fan that creates a draft indoors and only ensures that sweat is transported faster from the skin, an air conditioner without an exhaust to the outside will not reduce the temperature by one degree.

Smog

The heat can also create smog. People who are sensitive to smog can get complaints as a result. That is why a smog warning will apply from Monday. Smog is created by the accumulation of air pollution on sunny days. RIVM advises people who are sensitive to smog to stay indoors and to limit heavy physical exertion.

Vulnerable groups

Warm weather can mean that people who are unable to properly care for themselves can experience discomfort (such as fatigue, headaches and concentration problems) and more serious health problems (such as dehydration and heat stroke). The elderly are the largest vulnerable group, because they are less able to control their body temperature and are less likely to feel thirsty. In addition, others can easily experience discomfort or health problems without taking measures; think of people with a chronic condition, people in social isolation, the homeless, overweight people and (very) young children. Both extreme heat and high concentrations of ozone in the summer (summer smog) affect everyone, but summer smog also has vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, people with respiratory diseases and people who exercise in the open air.

Watch out for animals

As mentioned: roads absorb heat. This certainly applies to paved pedestrian and bicycle paths and motorways. The temperature of the dark colored asphalt can exceed 50 degrees. In some places in full sun, asphalt even softens due to the extreme heat. Keep in mind that when you walk the dog, the paws on asphalt can burn quickly. Dogs are often not smart enough to walk on the verge on their own. There are pets that do not realize that it is more comfortable to lie in the shade. Just like with humans, animals should not make great physical exertion. So don’t go for a long walk in the sun in the sun and don’t make it a sports day for your mount. Animals that walk outside must have a shaded area and always plenty of water. A simple bath does wonders for many dogs and birds.

King poodle Arka dances in the dog bath of neighbor dog Flynt. Photo: Jan Venema

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