Faced with the current heat wave, the Spanish government has activated a prevention plan with essential advice to get through this week-long heat wave as well as possible.
Through this plan, the Spanish Ministry of Health has provided information with the aim of preventing and reducing the negative effects of excessive heat on health, especially for the most vulnerable groups such as the elderly, women pregnant, minors and the chronically ill, as well as those who work or exercise outdoors.
In order to minimize health damage caused by excessive temperatures, emphasis is placed on the following recommendations (most of which follow general common sense):
1. Drink water and fluids often, even if you are not thirsty and regardless of physical activity.
2. Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic or very sugary drinks because most promote dehydration.
3. Pay special attention to: infants and young children, pregnant or breastfeeding women and remember to watch the elderly or sick to ensure they are drinking enough water and fluids.
4. Stay as long as possible in cool or shady places and cool off as soon as you need it.
5. Reduce physical activity and avoid outdoor sports in the middle of the day.
6. Wear light, loose clothing.
7. Never leave anyone in a locked, parked vehicle (especially minors, the elderly, or the chronically ill. The same goes for pets).
8. Consult your healthcare professional if you have heat-related symptoms that last longer than an hour.
9. Store medications in a cool place; heat can alter their composition and effects.
10. Eat light meals that help replenish salts lost through sweating (salads, fruits, vegetables, juices, etc.).
All information relating to the National Plan, as well as information on risk levels, can be found on the Ministry of Health website: https://www.sanidad.gob.es/excesoTemperatures2022/consultar.do