Work smart through the summers


Heat wave affects the human body adversely. More so when one is either exposed to the sunlight for longer hours or does intense physical activity during the daytime, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m. This makes a large number of our people such as domestic workers, vegetable vendors, auto repair mechanics, cab drivers, construction workers, police personnel, and road side kiosk operators, either from weaker sections of society or those who do not enjoy the luxury of choice, extremely vulnerable to the adverse impacts of heat waves such as dehydration, heat exhaustion, sun stroke and in extreme cases, even death.

Staying updated with local weather news and planning for the heat wave days is the first thing to do.

If possible, schedule work that requires strenuous physical activity for cooler parts of the day, i.e. any time other than between 12.00 noon and 3.00 p.m.

Remember, water is your saviour. Take baths in cold water as frequently as you can. Always carry a bottle of water and drink plenty, even if not thirsty. You can also use homemade drinks like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, buttermilk to stay hydrated. Use a damp cloth to sponge over your bare body parts when out in the afternoon sun. Wear lightweight, light coloured cotton clothes throughout summers. Cover your head and use footwear at all times when you step out of your home during the day.

If you have physical labourers working for you, be compassionate. Arrange for cool drinking water near the workplace. Give them small breaks to catch up with rest. Caution them to avoid direct sunlight; take special care of workers with a medical condition. Same is true for pregnant workers. Remember, one works better if the body is at ease.

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. All it requires is a little preparedness, planning and information-sharing. 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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