Some population groups are more vulnerable to heat, either by the characteristics of their organism, or by their specific health conditions. These sectors must be especially careful with their protection during the summer.
There are some basic protection measures that we must all apply. For example, use the right clothes, moisturize constantly and do not expose ourselves to the sun in the hottest hours. But nevertheless, who are more vulnerable to heat, should take these measures.
It has been pointed out that The segments most vulnerable to high temperatures are:
- Children under 5 years old.
- People over 65
- People who suffer from some chronic diseases.
- Those who do physical activities outdoors.
Let's see in detail each of these groups.
Children are more vulnerable to heat
Children, especially if they are very small, are one of the populations most vulnerable to heat. This is because younger organisms lose fluids more quickly. Therefore, they reach the point of dehydration with greater speed.
Likewise, children have a lower surface to volume ratio. Because, your body also generates heat more quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to keep them well guarded when temperatures rise, protecting them from the sun and limiting their physical activity.
To this is added the fact that the little ones do not clearly perceive the first signs of dehydration, nor the effects of heat on your body. Probably, they are just more irritable and angry than usual.
Older people are one of the most vulnerable groups. This is because the thermoregulatory center of the body is in the hypothalamus, a region of the brain that regulates the temperature inside the body. In the elderly, this function works more slowly.
Older people also have lower perception of thirst. This puts them at greater risk of dehydration, without realizing it. Therefore, we must constantly remind them to drink something, to avoid this danger.
Additionally, the elderly have a sweating lower than that of young people. For that reason, they tend to retain more body heat. If the environment is humid, sweating is further inhibited and there is a greater risk of heat stroke.
Those who suffer from hypertension
Excessive heat causes the arteries to dilate and promotes dehydration. Both factors affect negatively in the case of people suffering from hypertension. Thus, It is advisable to consult the doctor to adjust the medications in hot weather.
The most usual thing is for the heat to lower the tension. The effect of the usual medicines leads to that, sometimes, that low reaches an inadequate level. For that reason, it is advisable to carry out a check to avoid unpleasant surprises.
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Heart patients and the obese
The high temperatures also affect cardiovascular health. Obviously, this effect is more serious in those who have previous problems. Cardiac deficiencies limit the body's ability to eliminate body heat. Therefore, there is a risk of overload.
As well it is common for heart patients to use diuretic medicines. This leads to the constant elimination of water from your body, which reduces your ability to sweat. Therefore, they are exposed to dehydration with relative ease.
Obese people also have great problems to dissipate the heat of their bodies. In general, in the face of high temperatures they react generating excessive sweating. For this reason, they lose liquids and mineral salts with great ease and are often dehydrated.
Likewise, as people who are overweight have a greater volume of body fat, its temperature regulation is altered. For this reason, they are more likely to end up being victims of heat stroke.
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Athletes and people who work outdoors
Those who perform strong physical activities outdoors are also more vulnerable to heat, as is obvious. Direct exposure to the sun makes them suffer the impact of high temperatures with greater rigor. Both exposure and activity make them more prone to dehydration.
It is convenient, then, that they protect themselves adequately and that, as much as possible, limit their activities to the hours when the sun is less powerful. It is also necessary that they constantly hydrate, taking twice as much liquid as they would normally drink.