How to Prepare for European Heatwave on Holiday

17 Jul 2023 | Category: Medical

As seen in Daily Mail and MSN

UK GP. mole and skin cancer expert Dr Ross Perry shared his advice on how to prepare for the European heatwave.

The feature originally appeared on the Daily Mail online website, headlined:

Heading to a Cerberus heatwave country on holiday? How to stay safe if you’re flying to Europe’s tourist hotspots where temperatures of nearly 49°C are predicted

It has subsequently reappeared on MSN, where it is titled:

European heatwave: How to prepare if you’re going on holiday

Temperatures in mainland Europe are expected to hit as high as 48.8C in some places thanks to the current heatwave, posing ‘life-threatening’ health risks for those intending to travel to the regions affected.

Tourists flying into resorts in popular destinations including Spain, Italy, Turkey, Greece and Croatia are likely to experience the worst of the sweltering heat, which is caused by anticyclone weather system from the Sahara desert expanding towards the North. The UK is as yet unaffected.

Dr Perry told Daily Mail readers to look out for early symptoms of heatstroke, such as nausea, dizziness, feeling faint or confused and experiencing cramp:

“A sudden temperature change is also less than ideal, particularly if you go on holiday to somewhere very hot and you’ve been used to colder weather at home.

“Your body can struggle to adjust to the sudden change. If you think you might have a heat related exhaustion or indeed heat stroke you need to seek medical help immediately.”

Dr Perry continued:

“People tend to get heatstroke when they’ve had prolonged exposure to high temperatures combined with dehydration which then leads to failure of the body’s control system.”

Dr Perry explained that heat stroke, in medical terms, is

“…when the body temperature is greater than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Infants and those over the age of 65 are at greater risk of heat stroke due to the body temperature being more difficult to regulate at these ages. Obesity is also a common factor because the body retains more heat when you weigh more.”

He advised those on medication to take particular care to ensure they stay hydrated while in such temperatures – dehydration can also lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

A spokesperson for The Association of British Travel Agents also provided heat-related health advice for those travelling abroad:

“High temperatures around our favourite holiday hotspots are not uncommon at this time of year and it is always important that you take sensible precautions, particularly making sure that you and your family drink plenty of bottled water as it is extremely easy to become dehydrated, and always use plenty of high factor sun cream.

“Follow the example of local people and leave the beach at midday and early afternoon when the sun is at its most powerful, to have a long, leisurely alfresco lunch in the shade.”

Health Safety Tips for Heatwave

Further tips and advice includes:

  1. Avoid alcohol and caffeine, as they can cause dehydration
    Drink plenty to keep hydrated and cool. Water is best
  2. Have a warm bath before bed
    A warm bath causes blood vessels to dilate, which makes the body cool down
  3. Eat spicy food
    Curries, chilli and other spicy dishes raise your internal body temperature, causing perspiration and therefore cooling the body
  4. Chill your pillowcase
    Popping bedlinen in the freezer before using it helps to cool the body for easier sleep
  5. Room fan with ice
    Fill a bowl or bottle with ice and put it in front of the fan to send cooler air into circulation
  6. Wear loose clothes
    Tight fitting clothes insulate, so choose wide and loose fitting clothing instead
  7. Stay indoors
    Especially during the middle of the day
  8. Close curtains/blinds
    Reducing solar gain and keeping the house cooler
  9. Stay out of the sun
    If you have to be outdoors stay in the shade as much as possible – even when walking around
  10. Avoid exercising outdoors in the heat of the day
    However, air-conditioned gyms can be a relief
  11. Carry water with you
    To ensure you stay well hydrated when out and about
  12. Wear sunscreen daily
    SPF 50 is recommended for best protection

Dr Ross Perry

doctor ross perry

Ross qualified in 1994 at Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School, London. His career includes NHS skin cancer reconstruction, work as a GP, as well as private cosmetic skin treatments.

He established Cosmedics Skin Clinics in 2003 and remains in charge as Medical Director. He is renowned for natural-looking use of non-surgical cosmetic and anti-ageing injections and is especially well known for dealing with unwanted skin lesions and blemishes (e.g. moles, cysts, warts skin tags).

Dr Ross Perry is frequently called upon by the media for his expert insights and comments on skin and beauty-related issues.



Cosmedics Skin Clinics

Cosmedics Skin Clinics was established in 2003. Over the last 19 years, it has built up an excellent reputation for cosmetic and medical skin treatments.

The company offer a full range of cosmetic treatments, including popular lip enhancement and wrinkle relaxing injections, dermal fillers. In addition, there is a range of medical treatments including mole removal, thread vein treatment and excessive sweating injections.

Cosmedics Skin Clinics has 5 skin clinics across London and Bristol. Treatments are carried out by GMC Registered Doctors and Surgeons.

Call 020 7386 0464 or email to book an appointment.

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