TAKE NOTE: Heat wave precautions

Photo: Wassilios Aswestopoulos/Corbis Images Make sure you keep cool during the heatwave.


EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said, “Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water. Stay indoors if possible, stay away from direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm and wear loose clothing. To cool yourself down, visit your municipal swimming pools, they have lifeguards on site. And don’t throw away cigarette butts or stompies during this heatwave, it might cause veld fires.”

City of Johannesburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said a prolonged heat wave could affect the health and well-being of people, especially the elderly, young and people who work outdoors. “However, there are also pro-active steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure to the sun’s rays and keep cool during the coming months of summer,” Modingoane said.

“Drink more… liquids… energy drinks are also acceptable, but water remains the best option – and remember Joburg’s tap water is rated among the best quality in the world.”

Mulaudzi also warned children not to swim in rivers and dams to avoid drowning incidents, and urged parents to make sure that children were supervised while swimming in swimming pools.

“Make sure that the swimming pool is covered at all times with a safety net while not in use,” he said.

He also appealed to residents to use water sparingly after Rand Water announced that the persistent high temperatures had placed a strain on its bulk water supply system.

“[The heat wave] will have an impact [on water usage] because people would want to cool themselves, using water excessively.”

He added that EMS would remain on high alert to make sure that they respond to any emergency which might occur in the city during the heatwave.

Details: Emergencies call 10177 or 011 375 5911.

Ways to beat the heat

  •  Drink more water and stay hydrated
  •  Keep the sweat away – wear loose fitting clothing such as cotton and apply antiperspirant, even at night when you go to bed. If you venture outdoors, use an umbrella and wear a sun hat
  •  Keep your food cool and avoid using the oven. Eat food that does not require heating such as salads, cold meat and cold soup. Enjoy cold treats such as ice cream and popsicles
  •  Continue exercising – but be cautious of over-exerting yourself and schedule your workout for the coolest time of the day
  •  Cool your room down without using air-conditioners – Open the windows to allow the air to circulate
  •  Ventilate your car – temperatures inside a car which has been standing in the sun can be up to 10 degrees higher than on the outside. Roll down the window on one side and open and close the door on the opposite side a few times to fan the interior
  •  Use your body’s cooling points – by applying ice cubes wrapped in a towel on the wrist, neck, elbow or ankles. This helps to reduce body heat quickly
  •  Watch out for granny, youngsters and pets. Older people and children are most vulnerable to soaring temperatures. Look after them with particular care… and don’t leave children locked in the car while doing shopping or allow them to play in old unused cars where they can possibly lock themselves in. Don’t leave your dog in the car
  •  Remember sunscreen – when you are outdoors, apply lotion that has a high-level of protection against harmful ultra-violet rays. Wear a hat that can protect your face and neck… even when you are in the shade
  •  Watch out for signs – and be aware of the symptoms associated with dehydration and overheating such as muscle cramps, mild confusion, difficulty in breathing, weakness or sleep problems. Rest in a cool place, replenish your body with fluids and consult a doctor or pharmacist if the symptoms persist.
Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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