The death toll in the heatwave sweeping India has passed 1,000, with temperatures nearing 50 degree Celsius in some areas. Most deaths have taken place in the southern states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, where the death toll has risen to more than 800. Hospitals are on alert to treat heatstroke patients and authorities have advised people to stay indoors.
However, not everyone can stay indoors during the heatwave and for some there is no respite from the heat. Keep in mind the below dos and don’ts and also inform others how to tackle the scorching heat this summer:
Dos during a heatwave:
- Drink water and oral hydration drinks in every 1-2 hours
- Always use an umbrella or wear a hat while going out in the sun
- Try to wear shades to protect your eyes from getting red
- Apply sunscreen to protect your skin while going out
- Wear light and cool clothes
- Take breaks and rest in a shady spot if you are pursuing an outdoor job
- Wash your face in every 2 hours and place a wet cool cloth on your head to cool off
- Ensure you complete your daily chores like vegetable shopping etc. in the evening
- Bathing twice a day is advisable
- Check on your elderly family, neighbours and domestic help and ensure they are following measures to beat the heat
- Recognise the signs of heat stroke, heat rash or heat cramps such as weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, sweating and seizures.
- Go to a doctor immediately if any of the above symptom prevails for more than a day
Don’ts during a heatwave:
- Try to avoid going out in the direct sun
- Avoid any form of extensive physical activity
- Do not allow children to play in the park during peak heat hours
- Do not leave children/pet in the car with closed windows
- Avoid consuming caffeinated drinks (like aerated drinks) and alcohol during extreme heat
- Avoid wearing dark, heavy or tight clothing
- Avoid cooking during peak heat hours. If you must cook, open doors and windows to ventilate the cooking area adequately.
- Avoid heavy and oily food, try to consume easily digestible food
- Don’t wait for power cuts to buy an emergency fan, buy it already and keep it handy
- Avoid reaching the dehydration stage, keep yourself hydrated and drink loads of water
The temperature is expected to come down in a few days but till then follow the above measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from the deadly heat this summer!