Water and sun cream are your best friends in the searing heat
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    Water and sun cream are your best friends in the searing heat

    Belgians should use sun cream, drink a lot of water, and stay indoors during the heat wave this week. Credit: Daria Shevtsova/pexels.com

    Water will be man’s best friend as the heat moves in on Belgium, with highs approaching 40°C expected on Thursday, says the Walloon agency for a life of quality, Aviq.

    Drink more water, eat light, stay out of the sun at the hottest times of the day and limit all physical effort, Aviq stressed in a series of recommendations for the public on Monday.

    The organisation recommends drinking at least 1.5 litres of water per day. Even if the sun calls for an aperitif, it is better to avoid alcoholic beverages, as well as coffee and sweet drinks. Your stomach should not remain empty: you need to eat regularly and enough. Aviq recommends seasonal fruits and vegetables, in particular.

    The best way to protect yourself from the sun is to stay away from it. The interior of your home should be your haven of peace, at least at the hottest time of the day: 11.00 a.m. to 03.00 p.m. No sunbaths in the garden or inside; to avoid suffocating, it’s better to close the windows and curtains until the worst of the heat passes. Outside, sun cream will be everyone’s best ally. Other standard equipment includes hat, cap and sunshades.

    There is good news for procrastinators. With temperatures like these, physical effort needs to be limited as much as possible. If you need to tempt the devil, take regular pauses and use abundant water.

    “Everyone is concerned,” Aviq stresses, but some people are more sensitive to heat. These include infants, seniors and isolated persons. Their loved ones need to pay special attention to them and make doubly sure they are hydrated.

    High sun and extreme heat can cause sunstroke, heat cramps, exhaustion or heatstroke, which is a potentially fatal medical emergency. Heatstroke symptoms include high body temperatures, increased heartbeat, unusual agitation, confusion, headaches, nausea, vomiting and convulsions. The skin becomes red and dry. Victims can lose consciousness, and even fall into a coma.  

    Oscar Schneider

    The Brussels Times