Beat the heat this summer


Heat waves in various parts across the country make headlines every year. And not without reason; it is dangerous, even fatal. It is important to be in the know, for a little preparedness can prevent heat-related illnesses and reduce its adverse impact.

Begin with staying up-to-date by tuning in to the radio, watching TV or simply skimming through the newspaper for local weather news and alerts. You can also check out the India Meteorological Department's (IMD) website for detailed and accurate weather forecast.

Now that you are aware of the hot day ahead, what do you do next? Staying indoors and staying hydrated is the best thing to do, especially between 12 noon and 3 p.m.  Drink plenty of water, ORS (Oral Rehydration Solution) and homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, buttermilk, etc. Eat freshly cooked food; include vegetables and fruits in your diet. Alcohol, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks are a strict no-no as they dehydrate your body. Pay special attention to yourself if you are pregnant, lactating, old or suffer from a chronic medical condition.

You can use curtains, shutters or sunshade to keep your home cool during the daytime. At night, open doors and windows for ventilation.

Step out if you must but not without a headgear (cap, cloth, turban, hat, umbrella, etc.), a bottle of water and proper footwear. Wear lightweight, light coloured, loose cotton clothes for breathability and air flow.

Schedule work that requires intense physical activity for comparatively cooler times of the day. Instead of finishing it all at once, take frequent breaks in between. This is because intense physical activity, sometimes even prolonged exposure to sunlight, can cause heat exhaustion.

Spread awareness among your family, friends and neighbourhood about the potential dangers of heat wave. Tell them about these simple tips to beat the heat. For more on heat wave, you can read NDMA's guidelines on Prevention and Management of Heat Wave here and watch

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