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Tuesday 17 July 2018

'Bump your daily water intake up to 10 glasses' - and other expert tips to protect yourself in heatwave

President of the National Association of General Practitioners shares his advice on how to protect yourself from this week's heatwave

According to Dr Ó Tuathail, the key to enjoying a heatwave safely lies in sunscreen, hydration and keeping your home in a comfortable condition. Photo: Stock Photo
According to Dr Ó Tuathail, the key to enjoying a heatwave safely lies in sunscreen, hydration and keeping your home in a comfortable condition. Photo: Stock Photo

Kyle Ewald

While temperatures are set to soar to as high as 31 degrees this weeks, people are being encouraged to soak up the sun in the safest manner possible.

Speaking on RTE Radio One's Morning Ireland this morning, President of the National Association of General Practitioners Dr Maitiú Ó Tuathail explained how Irish people are not accustomed to such hot conditions and their bodies must work a lot harder to cool down.

According to Dr Ó Tuathail, the key to enjoying a heatwave safely lies in sunscreen, hydration and keeping your home in a comfortable condition.

“It’s really important that people use sunscreen, but also that they use it properly,” Dr Ó Tuathail warned.

He advised that the sunscreen be applied at least 30 minutes before entering the sun to ensure it is fully soaked into the skin.

As for water intake, Dr Ó Tuathail said “on a normal day people should be drinking around six to eight glasses of water day”, but this should be bumped up to ten during heatwave conditions.

For those who don’t enjoy water, the health expert suggests snacking on frozen berries and grapes because they both contain a large amount of water. He discourages drinking caffeinated drinks because they have a diuretic effect that can lead to dehydration.

Keeping a comfortable temperature indoors should also be prioritised, according to Dr Ó Tuathail. He suggests keeping rooms cool by keeping curtains shut and windows open as well as sleeping on cotton sheets because they are more breathable.

Lastly, Dr Ó Tuathail urged listeners to pay special attention to children and the elderly.

“Children and the elderly should remain out of the sun when it’s most intense which is between 12 and 3pm,” he advised.

He also recommended checking in on elderly neighbours to ensure they have enough water and are coping well with the heat.

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