Health and fitness

11 tips to avoid heatstroke when attending campaign rallies

The biggest danger in such a gathering under the sun is heatstroke or when the body overheats as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.

By Rosa Carmela Alday

Summer temperatures are reaching 33 to 35 degrees these days, but the heat is not deterring people from attending the rallies of the candidates they support in the upcoming elections.

People are coming out in record numbers—including the elderly, young children, and all ages in between. They often walk several kilometers to get to the venue and stand for hours, often forgetting about their physical wellbeing.

The biggest danger in such a gathering under the sun is heatstroke or when the body overheats as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures.

Symptoms include confusion, racing heart rate, agitation, slurred speech and delirium. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, when heatstroke is untreated, it “can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.”

Prevention and protection are the best ways to deal with unforeseen situations or illnesses. If you are looking for affordable, easy to buy insurance plans to protect yourself against health and life setbacks, check out FWD’s KanMend, KanLive and KanGuard.  

Here are 11 tips to avoid getting a heatstroke and staying healthy during the rallies.  

  1. Drink plenty of fluids before going out and bring a water bottle or tumbler.

    Bring your own water because once you’re in the middle of a packed rally, it may be difficult to get out and look for water. Better still if you have an insulated tumbler to keep your water cold (but not too cold or it may cause stomach cramps) to help lower your body temperature.

  2. Wear appropriate clothing.

    Choose lightweight and loose clothing to allow your body to cool properly.

  3. Stay in the shade.

    Most rallies are held in huge, open outdoor spaces, so you have to “create” your own shade. Bring an umbrella, a hat or cap to lessen the effects of direct sun.

  4. Rest and pace yourself when walking to the venue.

    We’ve heard of people walking as far as 10 kilometers to get to the venues of rallies. To safeguard your physical wellbeing, rest often under the shade or indoors like a fast-food restaurant where there’s AC. Walk at a leisurely pace so your body temperature doesn’t rise too fast, too quickly.

  5. Don’t forget to wear sunscreen.

    Sunburn may affect your body’s ability to cool down and can lead to dehydration. Use at least an SPF 15 broad-spectrum sunscreen 30 minutes before going out.

  6. Avoid eating a heavy or hot meal.

Eat light before the rally and bring snacks for those long hours of standing. You don’t want to get dizzy or collapse from hunger either.  

  1. Avoid sugary or alcoholic drinks.

    These can cause you to lose more body fluid.

  2. Replace salt and minerals.

    When you’re sweating heavily, the salts and minerals in your body get depleted and they need replacing. Bring a sports drink to keep salt and minerals to keep your body in balance.

  3. Get acclimated.

    When you’re always in air-conditioned rooms and are not used to being outside in hot weather, you’re more susceptible to heat-related illness. Try to get your body used to the outdoors days before—but be careful not to overdo it.

  4. Identify where the medical stations are.

    Keep your physical wellbeing in mind always. Before getting into the thick of the crowd, identify mentally where the medics are located in relation to your position. There will be signs for sure, but when the place is packed with tens of thousands of people, you might not see them. Store their location in your mind so you know where to go if you start feeling unwell.

  5. Go with friends or make friends with the people around you.

    Campaign rallies presume that you are with like-minded people like your friends and family. If you’re going alone, make friends with other attendees and look out for each other.