Healthplan Spain


Thermometer Spain's Health Ministry Issues Guidance For Summer Heatwave Health News

Spain’s Ministry of Health has issued its guidance to citizens on how best to deal with the country’s impending summer heatwave.

With the summer season upon us, the Ministry has published information on how to stay cool and prevent potential health issues as a result of the soaring temperatures.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the dangers of abnormally high temperatures often experienced during the hottest months of July and August and the impacts it can have on the most vulnerable at-risk groups. This includes the elderly, pregnant women, minors, people with chronic health conditions and those who work outdoors.

In order to mitigate any negative effects, the Ministry offers the following recommendations.

  • Drink plenty of water and fluids, even if you don’t feel thirsty and regardless of the physical exercise that you do.
  • Avoid alcoholic, caffeinated or sugary drinks as they can promote dehydration.
  • Pay attention to those who are most vulnerable including infants and young children, pregnant women or nursing mothers, the elderly and those with health conditions that may be impacted by extreme heat such as heart disease, kidney disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer, pathologies that hinder mobility, dementia and other mental illnesses, as well as drug or alcohol abuse).
  • Keep cool by utilising shaded areas as much as possible. 
  • Avoid physical activity and playing sports in the middle of the day when it is hottest.
  • Wear loose-fitting and breathable clothing.
  • Don’t leave children, the elderly, those with chronic illnesses or pets in locked vehicles.
  • Consult a doctor if you experience symptoms for more than one hour that may be related to high temperatures.
  • Keep medicines in a cool place as the heat can alter its composition and effects.
  • Eat light meals including salads, fruits, vegetables and juices to help replace salts and fluids lost through sweating.
  • Wear a hat to help avoid sun/heat stroke.

Weather Alerts Available Via Email And SMS

One of the Ministry’s priority action plans is to alert citizens as to when there are possible high-risk situations due to heat extremities.

As a result, a new service with data provided by the country’s State Meteorological Agency (AEMET) has been set up which will alert citizens via email and SMS notifying them of the anticipated daily high and low temperatures for their region.

Alerts will also indicate the minimum and maximum forecasted temperatures for a rolling five day period.

You can register for the free service here

You may subscribe from today up until the service ends on September 15.

Alert levels will be assigned using the following categories.

  • Level 0 (green), of the absence of risk , occurs when it is anticipated that on no day of the next five consecutive days the threshold temperatures will be exceeded.
  • Level 1 (yellow), low risk, it is expected that the threshold temperatures will be exceeded on one or two days of the next five consecutive days.
  • Level 2 (orange), medium risk, it is expected that the threshold temperatures will be exceeded three or four days of the next five consecutive days.
  • Level 3 (red), high risk, is activated when threshold temperatures are expected to be exceeded in one of the next five days.

In 2020, level 3 (red or high risk) was activated on 53 separate occasions, with the region of Granada experiencing 17 of the alerts. On August 6 there were a total of eight provinces in the red level simultaneously.

Level 2 (orange or medium risk) was activated on 222 occasions during the plan's activation period, with the provinces with the highest number of orange levels being: Granada (34), Zaragoza (23) and Jaén (19). On August 8 there were a total of 20 provinces at the orange level simultaneously.

Level 1 (yellow or low risk) was activated on 638 occasions, distributed among 42 provincial capitals, Salamanca (33) being the one with the highest number. July 31, August 3 and August 5 were the days in which the highest number of yellow alerts occurred (21 provincial capitals simultaneously).

During the 2020 season, there were a total of 81 days with alerts of some kind, being the provinces with the highest number of alerts of any type: Granada with 69, Jaén with 59 and Zaragoza with 49. The week with the most alerts was between August 3 and 9, with a total of 115 activations of level 1 (yellow), 65 of level 2 (orange) and twelve of level 3 (red).

Please make sure you sign up for the free alerts and stay safe this summer.