Olas de Calor


Aunque queda poco más de una semana para que finalice el verano, todavía podemos tener algún día caluroso. Ante situaciones extremas de olas de calor, no está de más recordar unos cuantos consejos, si no para este año, para el verano que viene.

Una ola de calor, como las que hemos vivido algunos días este pasado verano, es una situación de calor intenso con elevadas temperaturas y con frecuencia muy húmedo, que puede llegar a abarcar extensas zonas de nuestra geografía y se mantiene durante días consecutivos. En las montañas valencianas, en especial aquellas que no tiene una altura excesiva o no llegan a los mil metros, esta situación puede causar serios problemas si estamos realizando alguna actividad deportiva, en este caso la bicicleta.

Como todos sabemos, las personas que mas riesgo tienen ante estas situaciones son los niños, las personas mayores, las más obesas o aquellos deportistas que están practicando su actividad con bastante esfuerzo físico y expuestos al sol. Siempre hemos aconsejado que en los días de intenso calor es mejor dejar el ejercicio para las primeras horas de la mañana o bien entrada la tarde. Es posible que nos coja en alguna travesía o en algún viaje largo, como por ejemplo el Camino de Santiago o la Ruta del Cid, puesto que hay muchas personas que sólo en estas fechas vacacionales pueden practicar us deporte. Ante ello, no está de más recordar una serie de importantes consejos.

Beber abundante líquido, en especial si se está haciendo un esfuerzo físico. Tengamos en cuenta por otro lado que las bebidas alcohólicas, por mucho que apetezca tomar alguna cerveza, o incluso las que tienen cafeina, aumentan la pérdida de líquidos, por lo que son las menos recomendables. Tampoco es aconsejable tomar líquidos excesivamente fríos o demasiado azucarados.

Hay que aportar minerales al cuerpo, tanto a través de bebidas isotóicas que reemplacen las que perdemos por el sudor, o por medio de sueros orales que podemos incluso preparanos nosotros antes de salir, con una proporción pequeña de sal, bicarbonato sódico, algo de azucar y un limón exprimido.

Hay que comer pequeñas cantidades de comida, con frecuencia y preferiblemente ricas en frutas y verduras, reduciendo sustancialmente las que tengan muchas proteínas como la carne.

Use ropa apropiada, la más adecuada es la fina, ancha y no apretada, maillots ligeros de verano que se sequen con rapidez y que cubran la mayor parte del cuerpo sobre todo la parte posterior del cuello. Colores claros, por supuesto, y olvidando el negro hasta que llegue el invierno.

Hay que llevar una buena protección solar, con factor de protección mínimo 30 para la montaña o 16 si se trata de dar un paseo corto. Hay que aplicarse el protector treinta minutos antes de la salida. No olvides protegerte la cabeza con el casco.

Si hace calor evita el esfuerzo innecesario, pero si no hay más remedio y nos pilla la ola de calor a mitad de una travesía, comenzar la excursión de una forma gradual, y si nos llegamos a cansar en exceso o nos vienen mareos, parar y descansar en un lugar fresco, a la sombra y si puede ser, junto a una fuente.

Mucho cuidado si vamos con niños. Ellos suelen a veces tener alterada la percepción de la sed y no hay que perderlos de vista, obligándoles a beber aunque no tengan sensación de sed.

Si a pesar de todas las precauciones, tenemos la sensación de agotamiento, hay que parar de inmediato. Un golpe de calor puede ser fatal, y sus síntomas son muy claros: Temperatura elevada, piel roja, caliente y seca, pulso fuerte y acelerados, dolor palpitante de cabeza, mareo, náuseas y confusión que pueden llevar incluso a la pérdida de conciencia. Ante estos síntomas hay que recurrir a la ayuda médica, y mientras llega, hay que tratar de bajar la temperatura del enfermo, llevándolo a un lugar fresco y aplicandole agua en paños o ducha.  Si está inconsciente o vomita, ladearle la cabeza y mantener libre las vías respiratórias.

Otra situación que puede ocurrir, más frecuente y también menos grave, es el agotamiento por calor. Los síntomas aquí son algo distintos: piel fresca y húmeda, pulso rápido y débil y respiración acelerada y poco profunda. Sin tratamiento inmediato, puede producirse un ataque cardiaco si el afectado está enfermo del corazón o ha tenido antecedentes de infarto. En estos casos, el tratamiento es igual que durante un golpe de calor, pero aquí puede tomar líquidos que no estén muy fríos y por supuesto, evitar las bebidas alcohólicas. Otros problemas frecuentes que puede producir el calor son los calambres, que se tratan con descanso y tomando zumos diluidos o bebidas isotónicas. Si tenemos quemaduras por solares, estas se deben refrescar, tratar con cremas hidratantes y siempre consultar con un médico.

No está de mas que recordemos los teléfonos de información y coordinación de urgencias 900 161 161 y el centro de emergencias, el 112.

Texto y fotografías: José Manuel Almerich

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José Manuel Almerich

José Manuel AlmerichEscritor, geógrafo y ciclista de montaña, José Manuel Almerich es un apasionado de la bicicleta por caminos forestales y divulgador por naturaleza del patrimonio rural valenciano. Viajero incansable, ha publicado [...]

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