Hydration is of utmost importance when faced with the rising heat. Photo as illustration

Beating the scorching heat in the Waterberg


Justin Steyn   l   Views: 113

Recent soaring tempratures countrywide have exposed residents to risks such as heat exhaustion and dehydration.

According to the South African Weather Service the summer heat was expected to be as high as 40-degrees celcius, with an average of 36-degrees celcius, in large parts of the the Waterberg.

With these scorching conditions in mind, The BEAT spoke to Andy Gill of the Advanced Paramedics Assistance group, on practical ways to keep cool and early warning signs with regards to heat-related danger.

“Heat injury in these temperaturers is a real risk, especially for the very young, old and infirm. People need to stay indoors as much as possible and stay hydrated,” Gill said.

He said that developing a headache unexpectedly could be an early sign of dehydration. “Rehydrate with fluids containing electrolites such as energy drinks. If it gets to a point that the skin is dry and you have stopped sweating, that is a sign of a heat stroke.” 

Gill described heat stroke as a life-threatening condition and a medical emergency.

“Seek help urgently. As long as you are sweating, you are compensating for fluid but be mindful to replace the fluid you have lost. Water on its own is not good enough, the salts and electrolytes need to be replaced as well,” he said.

He provided a simple test which could be used to determinde dehydration. 

“You can tell if you are dehydrated by the colour of your urine. Light yellow to clear-coloured urine means that you are well hydrated. On the other hand, dark yellow to orange colouration of urine is a sign of dehydration,” he explained.

Gill also reiterated the importance of hydration in infants, toddlers and the elderly. 

“The biggest mistake people make in this type of heat is not staying hydrated. As normal teens and adults we have good compensatory mechanisms. However, the very young as well as the old and sickly do not have such good mechanisms and therefore are more at risk. Stay out of the hot weather if at all possible and stay indoors,” he advised.

4 months ago       18 January 2018