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Splash and a dunk key to cooling off

By , 30 January 2020

Two boys playing with a hose

A splash of water is a great way to cool down!
Image: ©istock.com/Kosamtu

By Michelle Wheeler

Summer scorcher and no air-con? Dunking your feet in water can make the heat more bearable, Aussie research suggests. Sponging yourself all over is even better, and has the added benefit of lowering your heart rate.

People are usually told to just drink water when it’s hot. But scientists from the University of Sydney put this to the test in a special room that can simulate a heatwave. When people put tap water on their skin, it made them feel more comfortable. Even better, it lowered the strain on their hearts and helped them avoid dehydration.

The researchers say putting water on your skin is the best way to keep cool when there’s no electricity. It still worked in truly scorching temperatures, up to 47 degrees Celsius. And it didn’t matter if the room was dry or humid.

So whether you’re at the cricket or in the classroom – a splash and a bucket for your feet could get you through a hot day. It even works when the power goes out!

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