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Five ways to cope with extreme heat

As the hot season blazes down, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted a prolonged heatwave across the country in the coming days. In its…

As the hot season blazes down, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted a prolonged heatwave across the country in the coming days.

In its weather outlook released last week, NiMet said, “Air temperatures hit 41°C over the North and 39°C over the South with model Projections indicating temperatures to remain high in the coming days.”

During extreme heat it is easy to become dehydrated or for your body to overheat.

Heat can cause serious and potentially fatal health problems such as heat exhaustion and heatstroke, trigger sudden crises like heart attack or stroke, or worsen existing medical conditions like kidney or lung disease.

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But don’t let the scorching temperatures dampen your spirits! With a few simple strategies, you can stay cool, comfortable, and safe even during the hottest days.

Here are five effective ways to cope with extreme heat:

Seek shelter from the sun

The hottest part of the day is typically between 11 am and 3 pm. During this time, limit your outdoor activities and seek refuge in air-conditioned spaces like libraries, malls, or community centres. If you must be outside, stay in the shade as much as possible, using umbrellas, hats, or awnings for additional protection.

 

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is a major risk during hot weather. Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Consider incorporating hydrating fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and celery into your diet. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive caffeine, as they can dehydrate you further.

Dress strategically

Ditch the dark colors and heavy fabrics. Opt for loose-fitting, breathable clothing made from natural fibers like cotton or light-coloured clothing reflects sunlight, helping you stay cooler. Additionally, consider wearing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect your head and eyes from the sun’s harmful rays.

Cool down your surroundings

Keep your home environment cool by closing curtains and blinds during the day. Utilize fans strategically to circulate air, and if possible, take advantage of air conditioning during the hottest hours. Taking a cool shower or bath can also provide immediate relief from the heat.

Adjust your activity level

During periods of extreme heat, it’s wise to adjust your activity level. Avoid strenuous exercise or outdoor work during the hottest part of the day. If you must be active outdoors, take frequent breaks in the shade, pace yourself, and listen to your body.

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