As Europe battles its second extreme heatwave in a week, travelers across the continent need to ensure they stay informed and take precautions to ensure their safety.
Following last week’s scorching temperatures, southern Europe is once again facing dangerously high temperatures with the mercury tipped to top 45c (105F) in some parts of Italy, Spain and Greece.
If you have a holiday booked for the impending summer season, you can be forgiven for being slightly anxious. But we’ll look at what you can do and how to handle the potential issues with the heatwave.
Italy has issued red alerts for hot weather in 16 cities, with meteorologists predicting record-breaking temperatures in southern Europe. Popular tourist destinations like Italy, Spain, Croatia, and Greece are particularly affected, with temperatures soaring above 40 celsius (104 fahrenheit) and potentially breaking the continent’s current temperature record. This extreme heatwave poses certain risks and necessitates precautionary measures.
Preparing for the Heat
If you have plans to visit Europe during this period, it’s vital to take necessary precautions to protect yourself from the scorching heat.
Consider the following tips:
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption, as they can contribute to dehydration.
- Seek Shade and Air-Conditioning: During the hottest hours of the day, try to find shelter in shady areas or air-conditioned spaces. This could include museums, cafes, or shopping centers. Avoid the beach or open city centres in the middle of the day.
- Dress Appropriately: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics to keep cool in the heat. Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses for added protection from the sun’s rays.
- Plan Outdoor Activities Carefully: If you have outdoor activities planned, schedule them for early mornings or evenings when temperatures are generally cooler. Avoid being outside during the peak heat of the day.
- Remember Sunscreen: Pack plenty of sunscreen and be sure to cover up before you go out. And if you have youngsters in tow, make sure to keep them covered up with a sunhat and long sleeves too.
- Visit Parks and Forests: Instead of beaches. The tree cover is naturally cooling and many parks and forests have rivers or lakes you can swim in too.
Recognizing Heat-Related Illnesses
Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses and take prompt action if you or someone you know experiences symptoms.
Watch out for signs of heat exhaustion, such as dizziness, nausea, confusion, headache, and a rapid heartbeat. If heat exhaustion advances to heatstroke, which is potentially life-threatening, symptoms may include hot, dry skin, high body temperature, rapid breathing, and altered mental state. If you or someone else shows signs of heatstroke, seek immediate medical attention.
As Europe navigates through another round of extreme heat, it’s essential to stay informed and take appropriate measures to protect yourself during your trip. Stay hydrated, seek shade and air-conditioning, dress appropriately, and plan your activities carefully. By following these guidelines and recognizing heat-related illnesses, you can ensure a safer and more enjoyable journey through Europe.
Remember, the heatwave is a temporary challenge, and by staying vigilant and informed, you can still have a wonderful European summer holiday.