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Heat Wave Safety Tips

February 9, 2018

 

The Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) has warned Nigerians to prepare for more hot days and warm nights.

Nigerians has therefore been advised to engage in smart adaptation practices such as;

  1. Take advantage of the cooling power of water. Fill buckets or basins and soak your feet. Wet towels and bandannas can have a cooling effect when worn on the shoulders or head. Take cool showers or baths, and consider using a spray bottle filled with cold water for refreshing spritzes throughout the day.
  2. Head downstairs. Since hot air rises, the upper stories of a home will be warmer than the ground floor. A basement can be a cool refuge from the midday heat.
  3. Eliminate extra sources of heat. Incandescent light bulbs can generate unnecessary heat, as can computers or appliances left running. Eat fresh foods that do not require you to use the oven or stove to prepare.
  4. Remember to maintain an adequate level of hydration, which means you’ll need to consume more water than you usually do when it’s hot. If you’re sweating profusely, you will also need to replace electrolytes by eating a small amount of food with your water or by drinking specially-formulated electrolyte replacement drinks. Thirst is the first sign of dehydration; you should drink sufficient amounts of fluids before you feel thirsty in order to prevent dehydration.
  5. Avoid alcoholic beverages and caffeine, as both of these substances can act as diuretics and promote dehydration.
  6. For a homemade “air conditioning” system, sit in the path of a box fan that is aimed at an open cooler, or pan filled with ice.
  7. Try to visit public buildings with air conditioning during the hottest hours of the day if the heat becomes unbearable. Libraries, shopping malls, and movie theaters can all be good places to cool down.
  8. Don’t eat large, protein-rich meals that can increase metabolic heat and warm the body.
  9. Be able to recognize the symptoms of heat-related illnesses and true heat emergencies (heat cramps, heat rash, heat exhaustion, heat stroke).
  10. Finally, remember that pets also suffer when the temperature rises. Cooling animals (dogs, rabbits, cats) by giving them a “cool” bath or shower will help keep their body temperature down. A cool towel on a tile floor to lay on, a cool towel or washcloth laying over the skin next to a fan will also help cool the animal. Make sure they have plenty of cool water to drink as well. Signs of a heat stroke in a pet are:

rapid panting,

wide eyes,

lots of drooling,

hot skin,

twitching muscles,

vomiting and

a dazed look.