No one is oblivious to extreme heat, even the youngest and best physically prepared people can be affected by high temperatures despite not considering that they may be vulnerable. That is why it is important not to overlook a heat wave alert and to be aware that anyone can be affected by it regardless of gender, age or social status.
Heat fully affects our daily lives even though we are used to living with it, which is why we often underestimate its risks. A heat wave affects our health and also our mental acuity, reduces the safety and productivity of workers, reduces the learning capacity of children in schools, affects infrastructure and transport, reduces agricultural yields and puts food safety at risk, among many other factors.
Taking into account all of the above, anyone can be affected by a heat wave, hence the importance of knowing in advance its existence and knowing what classification this phenomenon will have according to its impact on people’s health in order to be able to take preventive measures. Although we can all be vulnerable to heat, there are people who, due to their conditions, must take special care in the event of a heat wave. Among the groups that should take special precaution are:
- Adults over 65 years of age.
- Children and especially babies and infants.
- People with pre-existing medical conditions or chronic diseases: cardiovascular and respiratory pathologies, obesity, diabetes, mental illnesses.
- People who work outdoors or cook indoors.
- People who live alone and those who are dependent.
- People living in conditions of social exclusion.