Now that temperatures are regularly pushing 40 degrees centigrade, it’s a good idea to adjust our lifestyle to keep healthy in the heat. The Italian Ministry of Health reminds us that prolonged exposure to high temperatures can cause symptoms like cramps, fainting, swelling and heat stroke.
Here are six ways to beat the heat this summer in Florence
- Don’t spend time outdoors during the hottest times of the day, between 11am and 6pm, especially for the elderly, very young children and persons with chronic illnesses. Avoid doing strenuous physical activities and sports outdoors at these times.
- Wear light and comfortable clothing at home and outdoors, such as cotton and linen. It’s also useful to protect your head with a light-coloured hat and to wear sunglasses. Protect your skin by using sun cream with a high sun protection factor.
- Never leave persons or animals in vehicles parked in the sun. Start your journey by rolling down the windows before using the air conditioning to cool down the internal temperature. Check the temperature of child seats before using them.
- Cool down your house or workplace by using air conditioning, screens, shutters and heat insulation. Open windows first thing in the morning and late at night. Keep shutters closed at all times when the outdoor temperature is higher than the indoor temperature. Avoid setting air conditioning at temperatures that are far lower than the temperature outside. The perfect temperature for the human body is 24-26°C. Avoid using the oven and other appliances that generate heat. Overuse increases the country’s electricity consumption and may lead to stoppages. Don’t point fans directly on individuals, but ensure they are circulating the air in the room. When temperatures exceed 32°C, fans can increase the risk of dehydration, especially for the bed-bound.
- Drink plenty of fluids (at least 2 litres of water a day), eat lots of fruit and vegetables (such as melons, tomatoes and lettuce) and avoid drinking alcohol and caffeinated drinks. Eat light meals at regular intervals.
- Take short showers and splash water on your face and arms, but avoid taking cool showers immediately after being out in the heat.
Here’s a list of the city’s pools, including those open to the public and membership-only, to help you escape the heat.