Heatwave advice: Ex-Royal Navy member gives body cooling tip
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The UK is experiencing a heatwave, and the first Red Extreme heat warning has been issued by the Met Office as temperatures are predicted to soar above 38 degrees Celcius. A country that knows a thing or two about hot weather is Australia, and one native shared her advice on Twitter on how to stay cool.
The highest ever recorded temperature in Britain was 38.7C in Cambridge University Botanic Garden on July 25, 2019.
In the next couple of days, temperatures are set to reach 39C, potentially breaking the record.
Dr Ellie Roberts, who moved from Australia to live and work in London as an ancient historian, shared her top tips.
“I am an Australian, here is some advice regarding dealing with the heat that’s heading to England… if you have no aircon,” she began the thread.
1. Close curtains
Dr Ellie suggests closing all curtains in the house “all the way, during the entire day”.
The curtains can be opened at night, alongside windows being opened.
She also suggested “directing any fans to make a through breeze” in the evenings.
2. Mist or spray bottles
Fill mist or spray bottles with water and mist yourself “as necessary”.
“Also good for keeping pets cool – which is extremely important,” she stressed.
3. Ice cubes
“If you can, stock up on ice,” Dr Ellie said. The ice is not only for cooling drinks, but “mainly about your pets”.
“Ensure that you are topping up their water with ice regularly. If you have no pets, stock up on slightly less ice, for your own beverages.”
Dr Ellie advises against drinking “too much coffee” and suggests not drinking “too much booze” either.
“Neither of those things are going to do you the world of good. But do drink plenty of fluids,” she said.
Water, cordials, ice drinks etc.
The Australian suggested taking “a towel of any size (even just washcloths/facewashers will do), [and] thoroughly wet them in cold water, and ring as much water out as possible (do this is a plugged bath to save water)”.
“Tightly cover the towel in plastic bags also fine and keep in the freezer,” she explained.
Smaller frozen towels can be “unwrapped and draped about the body at will”.
Larger towels should be moved to the fridge “around an hour before you want to use” them and they are “excellent for sleeping underneath”.
If you or someone you know is overheating, Dr Ellie said there are “two places on your body you need to focus on cooling down quickly” before seeking medical attention – the crown of your head and your feet.
“Soak your feet in cold water – as cold as you can stand. Then drink lots of water,” she commented.
Dr Ellie suggested knowing the signs of heatstroke – for adults, children and pets.
“In a genuine case of heatstroke, skip the feet and go straight for an icepack to the armpits,” she said.
Following this seek medical advice and/or attention.
8. Wear fewer clothes
If you’re at home, you can “wear as little as you like”.
For anyone going outside, or into the sun, it’s advisable to wear the “highest SPF sunscreen you have”.
Wear a hat, sunglasses, and loose-fitting, light and long-sleeved clothing to be really protected.
Dr Ellie also suggests putting “suncream under clothing” and “staying out of direct sun”.
If you are dehydrated and are an adult, and able to do so, Dr Ellie recommends “drinking half a pint of beer” including alcohol-free versions, then follow this with drinking water, or a sports drink or cordial if you prefer.
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