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Record Heat Waves Across Europe May Break All-Time Records

You don’t have to believe in global warming to know it’s hot, very hot indeed. Is it a record year? Perhaps. Climate experts are predicting that the hottest European temperatures on record are on the cusp of being breached. Athens has held the record to date of 48 degrees Centigrade, but a Saharan desert phenomenon is about to push Portugal and Spain which are already suffering into new territory. Hot, hot, hot and in Monaco too. It’s not just the heat; it’s the humidity also. The combination is draining.

And it’s official – there is a heat wave warning (level orange) in the south of France, certainly in the Alpes Maritimes and 17 other departments in France for that matter. And many of us in Monaco are not spring chickens. As we get older it is more challenging to keep ourselves cool. Our bodies just do not sweat in the same way as the younger generation. And ironically, we are less aware when we are overheating or thirsty. So we have to be proactive and take care of ourselves.

Heat Wave
REUTERS/Stevo Vasiljevic

So what is the best advice out there to protect ourselves. One piece of advice seems obvious but is important, drink cool non-sugary drinks. Cool water is perfect. Keep hydrated, so try to drink at least one and a half litres of water a day. Avoid caffeine and sugar – so drink less coffee and tea and fruit juice.

Eat cold plates, plenty of fruit and vegetables, themselves containing water.

Much of the advice is good common sense such as avoiding going out when temperatures peak, typically between 11 am and 5 pm. And limit playing sport to the cooler hours. Take showers and baths at cool temperatures (not cold though) and moisten your body.

Keep your home as cool as possible; closing the windows and shuttering them against the sun helps.

Heat Wave

And if you feel unwell the Help numbers are 112 or 118. Also keep an eye if possible on seniors in your neighbourhood who may be isolated in case they need assistance.

And it’s not just us that are suffering. It’s our poor little pets too. Dogs and cats can’t regulate their body temperature like humans by sweating. So you see them panting. It’s their mouths and paws alone that they use to try to cool down their body temperature. Leave your pets plenty of water – and, of course, a real no-no is to leave them enclosed in a hot car, even with the windows open. And they too benefit from a cool bath (though not cold).

And finally just be aware some people and animals have caught infections from being directly in a jet of cold air. So be careful how you direct the flows from your A/C units.
Many of us will be cooling off this summer in water fountains and under beach umbrellas, if we have to go outside. Take care. It’s sweltering out there!

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