Switzerland is experiencing more hot days and heatwaves due to climate change. Heat impacts our wellbeing and can be dangerous for our health. That is why it is important to take precautions during hot days, tropical nights and heatwaves.

Recommendations – how to protect yourself and others against the heat  

Risk groups

High temperatures are a health hazard, especially for the elderly, those in need of care, people with chronic illnesses, pregnant women, small children and babies. They need special protection during hot days. Those most at risk among the chronically ill are persons with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases, diabetes, dementia or mental health disorders.

Furthermore: you should also protect yourself against hot weather when at work, whether inside or outside. The following link contains information (in French, German and Italian) from the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs SECO (available in german, french and italian).

Symptoms and procedure for heat stress

Heat is stressful for the body, as it seeks to offset high temperatures by evaporating sweat. Increased sweating can cause significant fluid and electrolyte loss and dilated blood vessels lower blood pressure. This puts a strain on the cardiovascular system and heat-induced conditions such as heat exhaustion, heat stroke or sunstroke can result.

This is why you need to take measures to keep your body cool and hydrated (see above).

If you or anyone else experience the above symptoms, do the following:

  • Find a cool or shady area
  • Lie down
  • Cool yourself with damp towels
  • Drink fresh water
  • Have a drink with electrolytes (i.e. drinks with sodium, potassium, magnesium and glucose (for example apple juice diluted with water or sports drinks))

If you or someone else does not feel better after a short time, do not hesitate to call a doctor or 144!

Last modification 21.08.2023

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Federal Office of Public Health FOPH
Healthcare and Related Professions Division
National health policy Section
Schwarzenburgstrasse 157
3003 Bern

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