Tips to combat the effects of high temperatures

Protect your skin from the sun, keep hydrated, eat healthy food and watch out for summer infections. These are some of the experts' tips on how to stay healthy with the arrival of the high temperatures

Temperatures are at their highest in the majority of regions of Spain and the thermometers are expected to remain very high for the rest of the summer season. We all suffer the consequences of the heat and high temperatures, especially children, the elderly and the chronically ill, who are more vulnerable to more extreme temperatures. In this respect, it is important to take into account the recommendations of experts, to maintain healthy lifestyle habits and ensure the heat affects us as little possible in our everyday lives.

The DKV Healthy Life Institute offers a series of preventive measures and practical advice for minimising the effects of heat and enjoying your summer holidays in good health. Protecting your skin from the sun, staying hydrated, eating healthy food and protecting yourself from summer infections are some of the recommendations to take into account. However, you also need to bear in mind that feelings of sleepiness or prolonged tiredness can be signs of a low blood pressure or heatstroke. If you are suffering from these symptoms, you should see a doctor.
  • Protect your skin from the sun's rays. For people of all ages, but especially babies and children with their more sensitive skin, it is very important to avoid exposure to the sun's rays during the middle of the day, when they are at their strongest. While you are exposed to the sun, it is essential to apply a sunscreen of a suitable factor for your age and skin type. It is also advisable to wear sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes and head, above all for small children.
  • Drink abundant water to remain well hydrated. Experts recommend drinking about two litres of water a day for adults to be well hydrated in the hot seasons. Hydration is especially important for children and older people, as they are more susceptible to the effects of high temperatures. They also recommend, where applicable, drinking isotonic drinks to replace mineral salts.
  • Avoid summer infections and common colds. At this time of the year, when we spend more time at the beach and in swimming pools, we are more susceptible to ear infections (otitis), fungi or summer colds. Experts recommend always having a dry swimming costume to change into, drying yourself well after bathing and not spending a long time in a damp swimming costume. You should also take greater care with your daily hygiene.
  • Watch your diet. To maintain a healthy diet during the summer period, it is advisable to increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables and avoid large, heavy meals. Cases of food poisoning multiply during the summer due to food eaten poor condition, affecting especially children and the elderly. To prevent this, it is recommended to wash fresh food well before eating it, keep food products refrigerated at the correct temperature, avoid eating raw food and maintain hygiene by washing hands before eating or handling foodstuffs.
  • Take moderate exercise suitable for the temperature. Physical exercise, a good diet and rest are the basic pillars of a healthy life. However, exercise should be moderated during the summer season. It is advisable to take moderate exercise, avoiding the central hours of the day. The ideal time is in the morning before noon or in the evening, making sure to keep well hydrated and avoiding direct exposure to the sun.
  • Protect yourself against bites from mosquitos or other insects. This type of insect appears during the summer, especially in hot, humid areas. Protect yourself from mosquito bites by applying an “anti-mosquito” lotion and using mosquito nets or electronic devices that repel them. If you are bitten by an insect, avoid scratching the bite and apply a suitable treatment in each case (ointments or even antihistamines in the case of an allergic reaction), following the recommendations of a health professional.

En caso de estar encamado por enfermedad o por edad, el sistema de control de temperatura por el sudor no funciona eficazmente, por lo que hay que vigilar que la persona encamada no permanezca muy tapada y, refrescarle la piel de las extremidades cada hora con un paño húmedo para simular sudor.

If you are interested in learning more about the recommendations of the DKV Institute, we offer you an interview with Dr. Ferran L. Tognetta, DKV Insurance e-health medical director.