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How to survive the heat season in South Africa



The country should brace for hot temperatures and sporadic showers this Valentine’s weekend.

This is according to posts by the South African Weather Service (Saws) on X, formerly known as Twitter. The nation’s centre and eastern areas will be severely affected by these high temperatures.

Extreme heat, according to the National Department of Health, can induce dehydration, cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke, which causes damage to the brain, kidneys, and other organs, and can result in death.

“Urban heat islands are hotter than surrounding areas as concrete and tar absorb heat. Tin sheeting in informal settlements is unable to reflect heat and provides little insulation. Indoor temperatures in poorly constructed houses, clinics and schools can be 4°C warmer than outdoors,” the department said.

“Urban environments may lack trees and other vegetation that provide shade and increase cooling through evaporation. High temperatures in outdoor and indoor workplaces impact on workers’ health, through sunburn, dehydration and exhaustion, and can reduce labour productivity.”

Here are tips to help you cope with the heat.

Drink enough water this time; metabolic activities are faster during the hot weather, and as such, you lose body fluid more quickly. If it’s no stress for you, you could carry a water bottle to work or school every day to keep track of your fluid intake.

Try as much as possible to avoid clothes in the colour black. A black material absorbs heat and emits that heat into the environment, and consequently, your skin, which makes your body hotter than usual.

Wear items of clothing that will allow proper ventilation and aeration into your body. Avoid wearing footwear that would cause you to sweat on your feet. Whatever you can wear to make you comfortable during this hot weather.

Hot season or not, it is essential always to use antiperspirant sprays, especially if you sweat a lot. During this season, it becomes worse, as you lose body fluid very quickly. It is advised that you use antiperspirant sprays or roll-ons to prevent sweat from your armpits which may cause body odour or leave patches on your clothes. The weather is hot already; avoid frustrating someone else with body odour please.

There are a lot of hand fans that are powered by electricity which are very convenient to carry about. In a case when there’s no light, they can be powered using a power bank. Having one of these will help you reduce heat stress during this period.

After the day’s work, taking a cold shower helps to relax your body. It leaves you cleansed from the sweat and accumulated dirt from the day’s work.

Cold showers should also be taken in the night. It gets frustrating to sleep at night sometimes, even when the windows are open. To have a good night’s sleep, you must take a shower just before bed; this will give your body the cooling effects it needs.

As we carefully go on our way in this hot weather, these tips are essential to making the most of the time and staying productive in this heat.

Full Story Source: How to survive the heat season in South Africa

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