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Wear Loose Clothes, Avoid Stepping Out During Heatwave: Health Experts

As temperature soars and heat wave kicks in, Dr Neeraj Nishchal, AIIMS professor advised the public to exercise caution during peak heat hours to prevent heat-related illnesses

Wear Loose Clothes, Avoid Stepping Out During Heatwave: Health Experts
Heat wave conditions can result in physiological strain, which could even result in death

New Delhi: As the India Meteorological Department (IMD) issued a red alert for Delhi and other parts of North India, health experts have warned people not to go outside from 11 am-4 pm as it can lead to several health issues.

As temperature soars and heat wave kicks in, Dr Neeraj Nishchal, professor in the Department of Medicine at AIIMS, New Delhi, advised the public to exercise caution during peak heat hours to prevent heat-related illnesses.

Also Read: Climate Crisis Made Crippling April Heat Wave In South Asia 45 Times More Likely: Scientists

Dr Nishchal emphasised the heightened risk of heat-related problems during the hottest parts of the day, particularly in the afternoon. He stated,

It is essential that we should preferably not step out when the temperature is very high, especially in the afternoon, that is when the maximum chances of heat-related illness happen.

Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions are particularly at risk, he said.

Dr Nischal stated,

Extemer phases, elderly, kids, or people with co-morbidies, even those who are healthy should also take care. The younger population, they exert themselves, so they must prevent themselves.

He advised,

If you are playing in hot and humid conditions, then heat related problems can even happen to the younger population. It is essential to take precautions and not exert themselves. Any normal individual should drink atleast 3-4 litres of water, whatever you consume should be kept in mind with the co-morbidities. Any fiscal activity should not be performed during the peak heat hours, wear loose clothes, light coloured clothes.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued a severe heatwave red alert warning for the states of Punjab and Haryana and the capital, Chandigarh. The warning comes as temperatures soar across Northwest India, with IMD predicting continued heatwave to severe heatwave conditions over the next five days.

Additionally, there is also the possibility of a severe heat wave in the districts of Una, Bilaspur, Hamirpur, Solan, (Nalagarh, Baddi, Parwanoo), Siramur (DhaulaKuan Paonta Sahib) and Kangra (Gaggal, Nupur, Indora, Fatehpur, Dehra, Jaswan) and adjoining areas, the IMD said.

It further raised high health concerns for vulnerable people, including the elderly and infants. The IMD has also advised people to avoid heat exposure in areas that are on orange alert. It is also advised to drink sufficient water, even if not thirsty to avoid dehydration.

Also Read: Heat And Heart: There Is A Link

Dr Neeraj Nishchal, AIIMS, professor, Department of Medicine, said that the problems caused by the increasing temperature could range from rash and heat exhaustion to serious problems like heat stroke.

Dr Nishchal said,

The human body is a very designed machine to take care of maximum things, but once the temperature of the environment in which the person is staying starts rising, then the body’s mechanism of heat dissipation is overdone. So, that is when all these types of problems start happening. These problems could range from minor problems like rash, and heat exhaustion to serious problems like heat stroke. When we say heat stroke, it means the patient has become unconscious or the sensorium is not fine with that patient. The patient’s body temperature has risen to more than 40 degrees centigrade or Celsius and multi-organ dysfunction may happen if the body temperature is not brought down immediately.

He added,

We must preferably not step out when the temperature is very high, especially during the afternoon hours, say between 11 am-3 pm depending on the sunrise and sunset timing. So these afternoon hours are very hot and that is when the maximum chances of heat-related illness or heatstroke can happen.

Dr Jatin Ahuja, an infectious disease specialist at Apollo Hospital, said,

We get heat cramps, which is one of the first initial manifestations, patients feel that something is going on in the form of cramps, muscle aches, but still, it can be fully reversible. Another is heat exhaustion. So, when the thermodynamic regulatory system or body is working, we don’t have profuse sweating, mild breathlessness; patients will have the loss of or failure of the thermoregulatory system.

Dr Ajay Kumar Gupta, HOD, Department of Internal Medicine Max, Vaishali, said that the patients are suffering from heat strokes and other health-related issues due to rising temperatures.

Dr Gupta said,

For the last week, we have been receiving many patients suffering from heat waves. Some had to be just given OPD treatment and were released, while there were two or three people who required admissions also.

While giving some precautionary measures, Dr Gupta said to wear cotton clothes and use an umbrella while going out in the heat. He said,

People should not go out of their house from 11 am to 4 pm. But if you’re moving out, then wear full-sleeved clothes. You should wear cotton clothes. We don’t recommend any synthetic clothes. You should wear a hat or if preferable, if you’re not consciously carrying an umbrella, then ideally you should be getting on with sunglasses to protect yourselves from the sun.

Heat wave conditions can result in physiological strain, which could even result in death.

To minimise the impact during the heat wave and to prevent serious ailment or death because of heat stroke, you can take the following measures: Avoid going out in the sun, especially between 12.00 noon and 3.00 m; Drink sufficient water and as often as possible, even if not thirsty; Wear lightweight, light-coloured, loose, and porous cotton clothes. Use protective goggles, umbrella/hat, shoes or chappals while going out in sun.

Also Read: How Is Climate Change Impacting Our Health?

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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