25 Jul 2019

Heatwave alert for mainland Europe

Hot weather advice for travellers to mainland European countries Heatwave alert for mainland Europe

Extreme temperatures are being reported across most regions of mainland Europe [1, 2].

The Spanish authorities have issued heatwave warnings for areas of mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands [3].

Significantly high temperatures are being reported across most of mainland France. Daytime temperatures of over 40ºC and overnight temperatures over 20ºC are forecast and the French authorities have issued precautionary advice [4].

The authorities in Belgium have also issued an extreme weather warning for the whole country [2, 5]. Most other mainland European countries, including Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Poland are reporting higher than usual temperatures [2]. Intense heat can be dangerous, especially for babies, young children, older people, particularly those over 75, or anyone with serious chronic illnesses, particularly heart and breathing problems [6].

Advice for travellers

Carry cool water when travelling, drink plenty of fluids, avoid excess alcohol and wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes. Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day and try to walk in the shade. Apply sunscreen frequently, especially after swimming and wear a hat and sunglasses as additional protection when you are outside. 

Check that other people are ok, especially older travellers, young children, babies and anyone with underlying health conditions.

Be aware of the additional heat stress that being in a parked car brings. Never leave anyone in a closed, parked car or vehicle, especially babies, young children or animals.

Take care at the beach or swimming pool when you go into the water to cool down and always follow local safety advice [7].

If you feel dizzy, weak or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cool, shaded place to rest and drink water or fruit juice to rehydrate.

Seek medical attention for any unusual or new symptoms such as confusion or vomiting. If you develop painful muscular cramps or other symptoms, such as dizziness or a persistent headache that does not resolve, seek help.


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