Specialists recommend not engaging in outdoor sports at high temperatures, as well as hydrating regularly, and paying special attention to children and older people.
As the Agencia Estatal de Meteorología [State Meteorology Agency] reported, a heatwave is expected this weekend in the Valencian Community and Murcia, during which daytime temperatures will peak above forty degrees, with tropical nights. Among the most common disorders we can face, if we don’t take the necessary precautions when dealing with high temperatures, according to the specialists at Quirónsalud, the most noteworthy are weakness, a state of confusion, vertigo, headache, exhaustion, and a feeling of nausea accompanied by anxiety and sweating.
Doctor Fulgencio Molina, Head of the Accident & Emergency Service at Hospital Quirónsalud Murcia warns about the dangers faced by people who perform any type of intense physical activity when the air temperature is too high, even young and healthy people; especially if they practice any type of sport, high temperatures make them more susceptible to suffering any type of injury. According to Doctor Molina, “feeling cramps when performing physical exertion is a sign that tells us that we could be about to suffer a heat-related injury. Intermittent muscle cramps may be experienced in the limbs when engaging in sports.” These cramps are often related to accelerated breathing during exercise, as well as the amount of salts that are lost through sweat.
Another of the large risk groups are older people, especially if they suffer from high blood pressure. As José Luis Lasaga, Coordinator of the Accident & Emergency Service at Quirónsalud Alicante, explains, “one type of medication used to treat high blood pressure are diuretics, which, together with the high environmental temperatures, make a patient lose more liquids, due to which it is vitally important for these patients to drink more fluids than they usually do.”
Doctor Mayte Resta, Head of the Accident & Emergency Service at Quirónsalud Valencia, recommends, “not engaging in sports exposed to high temperatures, and hydrating well before, during and after physical exercise. In the case of older people, a group more vulnerable to dehydration, they must remain in a well-ventilated environment away from sun exposure, and maintain adequate levels of hydration; even if you don’t feel thirsty, you must drink water and offer them fluids regularly, even if they don’t feel like drinking.” And finally, with children, we have to take extra precautions; a child can become dehydrated even if we think they’re protected by shade, for example, on a beach under an umbrella. We must also look out for changes in behaviour, from irritable crying to lethargy, and regularly offer them water, even if they do not feel thirsty.