A Quick Homegrown Guide To Fighting This Summer's Heatwave

A Quick Homegrown Guide To Fighting This Summer's Heatwave
Hindustan Times

India grapples with scorching heatwaves every summer, and this year is no exception. This time, people are falling sick every day and some extreme cases are even resulting in deaths. Every year you will hear someone or another say “This is the hottest it has ever been.” and that’s because it is true. Thanks to climate change and global warming, each passing year, the temperature worsens, and things are only heading for the worse. While we ought to adopt a more sustainable and regenerative lifestyle to improve the climate conditions, it will take years before the ecological damages can be reversed and the temperature eventually comes down. Until then, here are some simple precautions you can take to remain safe and healthy through this year’s heatwave.

Hydration is Key

Drink plentifully: Don't wait until you're thirsty. Consistently sip on water throughout the day, even if you're indoors. Aim for at least 2-2.5 liters daily.

Electrolyte Power: Consider oral rehydration solutions (ORS) or homemade drinks like buttermilk, coconut water, or lassi to replenish electrolytes lost through sweating.

Skip Dehydrating Drinks: Avoid sugary drinks, excessive tea, coffee, and alcohol, as they can worsen dehydration.

Beat the Heat Outdoors

Limit Sun Exposure: The UV rays from the sun are causing skin burns and terrible rashes. Avoid going out during peak sun hours (typically 12 PM to 4 PM). If you must go outside, plan trips for early mornings or evenings.

Dress for the Season: Opt for loose-fitting, light-colored cotton clothes. Cover your head with a hat or umbrella, and wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.

Seek Shade: Whenever outdoors, stay in shaded areas as much as possible.

Cooling Down at Home

Keep it Cool: Draw curtains or blinds during the day to block sunlight. Open windows at night to allow cool air circulation.

Embrace Cooling Techniques: Take cool showers or baths frequently. Dampen a cloth and place it on your forehead, neck, or wrists for a refreshing effect.

Air it Out: If you don't have an air conditioner, use fans to circulate air. Opt for coolers filled with ice for added cooling.

Adjusting Daily Routine

Plan Activities: Schedule strenuous exercise or outdoor work for cooler mornings or evenings. Opt for lighter activities during the hottest part of the day. Nap during the hottest time of the day, if your work allows for it.

Lighten Up Meals: Avoid heavy meals high in protein. Focus on fruits and vegetables with high water content, like watermelon, cucumber, and leafy greens.

Check on Vulnerable Individuals: Regularly check on elderly family members, young children, and those with chronic health conditions who are more susceptible to heatstroke.

Warning Signs and What to Do

Heatstroke Symptoms: Be aware of signs of heatstroke, such as dizziness, headache, nausea, confusion, or excessive sweating.

Immediate Action: If you experience these symptoms, move to a cool place, remove excess clothing, drink cool fluids, and seek medical attention if necessary.