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16 May 2024
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Local Tips

During the summer, with the rising temperatures and the possibility of unexpected heat waves, it's essential to be aware of how to protect yourself from heatstroke. We spoke with Dr. Didier Rodriguez Gil, M.D., at Clinica Xtabay in Playa del Carmen, who shared valuable advice on staying safe and healthy during your stay.

Stay Hydrated

One of the most critical ways to prevent heatstroke is to stay hydrated. Dr. Didier recommends drinking at least 2 liters of water a day during extreme heat conditions. However, more than water alone might be needed. Consider using electrolytes to replenish the minerals your body loses through sweat. One electrolyte supplement a day is sufficient for the average person, but for those with more active lifestyles and sun exposure, up to 2 or 3 a day might be necessary.

Recognize the Symptoms

Heatstroke symptoms can include headache, fatigue, cramps, fainting spells, nausea, vomiting, fever, skin rashes, and blisters. Awareness of these signs can help you take action before the situation worsens.

Food and Alcohol Consumption

Dr. Didier advises favoring fruits and vegetables with high water content, such as pears, watermelon, and citrus. However, be cautious when handling citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes under the sun, as they can cause sunspots on your skin. While some alcohols, such as red wines, offer antioxidant benefits, they also dehydrate. Therefore, consume alcohol in moderation and avoid large quantities of beer, which is inflammatory. Tequila and mezcal are less inflammatory than beer but do not offer antioxidant effects like wine.

Sunscreen Use

Apply sunscreen frequently during a heatwave, as sweating can reduce its effectiveness. Dr. Didier recommends using dry-touch, oil-free, or powder sunscreens for better absorption. Reapply every 1-2 hours if you’re fully exposed at the beach, every 3-4 hours outdoors, and every 6 hours when sitting in front of monitors and screens, as these also emit tiny amounts of UV light.

Clothing Choices

Avoid synthetic textiles and tight clothing. Opt for natural fabrics like cotton or linen and loose garments. Synthetic fabrics such as lycra and polyester can trap heat and cause your body to sweat more, causing you to lose valuable fluids.

Treating Heatstroke

If you suspect heatstroke, stay in the shade and avoid exposure during peak hours, typically between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. in Riviera Maya. Lower your body temperature by placing cold compresses on strategic areas such as your armpits, forehead, groin, and feet. Ice wrapped in a wet towel works well. Ice baths can also help, but be cautious as they cause body shock. If these measures are not effective, seek medical attention. A healthcare provider can administer additional treatments, such as IV fluids or medication.

Plan Ahead

By following these expert recommendations from Dr. Didier Rodriguez Gil, you can enjoy your time in Riviera Maya while staying safe from the dangers of heatstroke. Remember to stay hydrated, choose the right foods, apply sunscreen, wear appropriate clothing, and know how to treat heatstroke if it occurs.

Finding the right accommodations with proper shade and ventilation is also key, contact us for more information and details about your upcoming trip to Akumal and our experts will gladly help you find the property you most want.