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02/05/24 | 5:38 pm

Beating the heat: How to stay cool as temperatures soar across India

India is in the grip of an intense heatwave, with temperatures soaring well above the 40°C mark in several regions of eastern and southern India on Thursday.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has warned that the scorching weather is likely to persist over the next few days.

Heatwaves pose significant threats to human health and can potentially lead to fatalities. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize personal protection during such extreme weather conditions.

The National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has recommended specific measures to mitigate the impact of heatwaves on health:

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when not feeling thirsty, to prevent dehydration. Avoiding the sun during peak hours and wearing lightweight, light-coloured, loose-fitting cotton clothing can also help minimize heat-related risks.

Be Mindful of Physical Activity: Refrain from engaging in strenuous activities during the hottest parts of the day, typically between 12 noon and 3 p.m. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises scheduling strenuous activities during the cooler morning hours, between 4:00 am and 7:00 am.

Choose Refreshing Foods and Drinks: Avoid dehydrating beverages like alcohol, tea, coffee, and carbonated soft drinks. Choose hydrating alternatives such as homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, or buttermilk.

Take Precautions for Children and Pets: Never leave children or pets unattended in parked vehicles, ensure they have access to shade, and provide them with an ample supply of water.

Act Promptly in Case of Sunstroke: If someone exhibits symptoms of heatstroke, such as fainting or feeling unwell, move them to a cool, shaded area and frequently wipe their body with a wet cloth. Offer them oral rehydration solution (ORS) or hydrating fluids and seek immediate medical attention. According to the WHO, medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than 1 hour.

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Last Updated: 25th May 2024