Botswana has of late been experiencing high temperatures with day time temperatures reaching the ranges of 36 - 40 degrees centigrade. This poses an increased health risk and may impact differently on the health of individuals as exposure to such temperatures may lead to heat cramps, heat stroke, heat exhaustion and severe sunburns and complications of chronic diseases such as Hypertension, Asthma, other respiratory illness etc.
The university community is therefore advised to protect themselves against these high temperatures as follows:-
· Drink Plenty of Fluids - Increase your fluid intake regardless of your activity level. During hot weather, you will need to drink more liquid than your thirst indicates. Avoid drinks containing alcohol and try to limit consumption of caffeinated beverages as they cause you to lose more fluid.
· Replace Salt and Minerals - Heavy sweating removes salt and minerals from the body, which are necessary for your body. The best way to replace salt and minerals is to drink fruit juice or a sports beverage.
· Wear Appropriate Clothing and Sunscreen - Wear as little clothing as possible when you are at home. If you must go outdoors, protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat, umbrella along with sunglasses, and put on sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
· Slow down. Reduce or cancel strenuous, outdoor activities or reschedule them for the coolest times of the day.
· Take frequent breaks if working outdoors
· Adjust to the Environment - Be aware that any sudden change in temperature, such as an early heat wave, will be stressful to your body.
· NEVER leave children or pets alone in closed vehicles
This Health Tip is brought to you by the Health and Wellness Centre.
Block 139 (Student Centre) 2nd Floor or Tel: 355 4616; 355 5054