Singapore is known for its year long summer, being hot and humid almost all the time. The heat in Singapore is no joke, with humid conditions and temperatures over 30 degree Celsius, a person is vulnerable to heat caused illnesses, or in a worse case scenario, hyperthermia or heatstroke if one does not take care of oneself when outdoors. While most of the following tips are more for those who are doing more strenuous physical activity outdoors on a hot day, they can also be useful to those who are simply spending time out of sheltered areas on a hot day, be it shopping or having a picnic.
This is something that can never be stressed enough, when it is hot, it is important to drink water, for the very simple reason that when our bodies get too hot our bodies use liquids to produce sweat that evaporates and takes heat from the body, but when our bodies lack water, less sweat is produced and our bodies may begin to overheat. Hence, the very basic thing we can do to protect ourselves from the heat is to drink lots of water, and of course a cold drink would be am added bonus if we are feeling really hot.
Wear thinner and/or lighter coloured clothes
If you are going outdoors and are going to be exposed to the hot sun directly, especially when you are going to partake in strenuous physical activity, thinner clothing is an essential, for thick clothes are more likely to retain heat and slow down evaporation of sweat, making you feel warmer. Lighter colours of clothes are more suitable for hot weather, compared to darker coloured clothes especially the black coloured ones, as they absorb heat better than the lighter colours, which will in turn make you feel warmer.
Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated drinks
These two types of drinks have an effect of causing your body to dehydrate, which hampers your body’s swat production which means that less heat is lost and your body will be warmer than its ideal temperature.
Many people might think that this is only for the appearance conscious but putting on sunscreen or sunblock on a hot day is more than just preventing a little sunburn or the formation of ‘sunspots’ on the skin, but a good sunscreen/sunblock can be a good protection against skin cancer causing ultraviolet rays especially if you are going to be in direct contact with strong sunlight. Other than ultraviolet ray protection, sunscreen/sunblock averts sunburn, which can prevent the body from cooling itself properly and result in the loss of essential body fluids which is hazardous to health.
Remember, the heat may not seem like much of a threat, but it can be a principal cause of serious conditions such as hyperthermia and heatstroke if you overlook heat protection, and also always remember that while doing physical activity or having fun in the sun, it is important to take a break in the shade every now and then to cool yourself down.
If you suspect that you are going to or are suffering from heatstroke, these are the symptoms to check for:
- Feeling very tired or extremely fatigued
- Feeling like vomiting
- Extreme agitation
- Feelings of giddiness or dizziness
- Abnormally fast heart rate