Danger to the elderly and children – SWR Current

Roman Lamberti is a general practitioner in Trier. In the SWR interview, he explains how to protect yourself from the heat, what to eat, and how to recognize heatstroke or sunstroke.

SWR power: High temperatures which these days have cost thousands of people their lives in Germany in recent years. For whom is this great heat particularly dangerous?

Roman Lamberti: It is primarily the vulnerable groups. This includes the elderly, infants and toddlers. Also people with pre-existing conditions in the cardiovascular system.

“Heart attack patients need to be especially careful.”

People who work a lot outside and are directly exposed to the heat are also particularly vulnerable.

Roman Lamberti is a specialist in internal and general medicine in Trier.


SWR power: What are typical symptoms of sunstroke and impending heat stroke, and when does it become critical?

Lamberti: Headaches are symptoms that are very common with such a thing. It is not uncommon for increased fatigue and concentration problems to occur in advance. It is always a sign that too little has been drunk.

Dizziness can certainly also be a symptom. It becomes critical when circulatory reactions occur. This includes vomiting and of course unconsciousness that may occur. An ambulance must be called immediately.

A woman walks in the shallow water of the Ammersee in the light of the low sun.  (Photo: dpa Bildfunk, picture alliance / dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand)

While forests in southern Europe have been burning for days, temperatures are now rising sharply in Germany. This is especially true of SWR3Land.

SWR power: How can I protect myself from heat and its effects on the body?

Lamberti: Heat is best avoided. Especially between At 11:00 and 18:00, energetic activities such as shopping or outdoor sports should be avoided.

“Everything where the body is in motion must be moved to the early morning hours or later evening hours.”

If possible, stay indoors or find another shady spot. In the woods under the trees or in the shade of buildings.

Long shirt instead of t-shirt in high heat

It is also important that you wear headgear – a hat or cap – that protects you from direct sunlight.

Airy clothing is generally recommended. It does not necessarily have to be shorts and a T-shirt or top, because UV radiation causes damage to the skin such as sunburn. Long, airy pants or a long shirt and blouse are actually better.

Woman sitting in front of water sprinkler (Photo: Colourbox)

Extreme heat affects not only humans but also animals and nature. Here are a few tips on how to get through the hot days!

Drink, drink, drink …

“Alpha and omega” is of course: drink a lot! Mineral water, unsweetened tea or light fruit juice sprays. And that even before the thirst actually sets in, so that the body is always supplied with sufficient fluid.

Proper nutrition important for protection against heat

SWR power: What does proper nutrition look like on hot summer days?

Lamberti: I can also prevent it with the right diet and support my body against the heat. Therefore, you should eat light and watery foods during this time. It can be, for example, salad or vegetables. Watermelons are also very high in water.

With a South American margarita, dip the edge of the glass in salt.  (Photo: Brian Jones on Unsplash)

If the air seems to stand still from 30 degrees, the drinks should be lukewarm and not contain sugar. When we sweat, we lose minerals and therefore salt is good.

Doc Fischer


Minerals and salts are removed from the body when you sweat and should be replenished at appropriate levels. This can then also be in the form of mineral water, which contains salts such as sodium and calcium.

“An alternative is lightly salted nuts that you can eat with tea or other beverages.”

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