Health warnings issued in Finland as heatwave continues

Doctors in Finland are advising people to avoid dehydration as temperatures hit record highs in the Nordic country. As the heatwave currently cooking Europe shows little sign of easing up, health officials in Finland are reminding residents to drink at least one and a half times more water than usual.

Puumala in southern Savo recorded the country’s highest summer temperature in 50 years last week, 33.7 °C, while the mercury reached 33.2 degrees in Lammi near Hameelinna. The country’s all-time highest temperature of 35.9°C dates back to 1914.

The Finnish Meteorological Institute predicts that the scorching heat will continue for at least the next week, if not beyond, with temperatures of over 25 degrees forecast as far north as Oulu. Health workers have warned that young children and the elderly are at particular risk of dehydration, and that those involved in exercise or strenuous labour should always have water nearby.

“Usually keeping up with one’s natural thirst is adequate if not engaging in particularly heavy physical activity,” said senior physician Veli-Pekka Harjola of the Helsinki University Central Hospital in a report by YLE.

Harjola advised, however, that at least one glass of water should be consumed every fifteen minutes when exercising in the heat. He added that light coloured urine in the morning indicates that you drank an adequate amount during the previous day.

Southern Finland was also issued with a warning about strong ultraviolet radiation and had a UV index of 6 on Tuesday. Parents with small children have been advised to keep them out of the sun whenever possible.

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