Heatwave Cheat-Sheet: Dos And Don'ts For This Summer

27/05/2015 9:50 AM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
An Indian boy plays with water at a pond on a hot summer day in Hyderabad, India, Sunday, May 24, 2015. About 230 people have died since mid-April in a heat wave sweeping two southeast Indian states, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, officials said Saturday. Day temperatures in Telangana's Khammam district soared to more than 48 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit) on Saturday. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

NEW DELHI — As the nation reels under the intense heat wave, high temperatures throughout the country continue to make Indians uncomfortable. Saturday was recorded as the season's hottest day in the national capital, with the mercury soaring to 44.5 degrees Celsius -- five notches above the season's average.

With a deadly heat wave claiming over 1,000 lives in India, the southern states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have recorded 852 and 266 death each, respectively.

Blistering hot, dry winds have also swept across most parts of north and central India, wilting the plants and forcing people to avoid the outdoors. In larger cities, people are preferring the air conditioner in the office and the malls to the scorching heat at home and outdoors.

Read: Photos Of India's Deadly Heat Wave Show People Seeking Respite From The Scorching Sun

With the temperatures continuing to soar, the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) has disseminated some useful information on the topic with dos and don'ts, which are as follows:

What is a heat wave?

According to the National Disaster Management Authority Of India, a heat wave is a period of abnormally high temperatures, more than the normal maximum temperature that occurs during the summer season in the North-Western parts of India. Heat Waves typically occur between March and June, and in some rare cases even extend till July.

Health Impacts of Heat Waves

Typically involve dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke.

The signs and symptoms are:

Heat Cramps: edema (swelling) and syncope (fainting) generally accompanied by fever below 39*C i.e.102*F.

Heat Exhaustion: Fatigue, weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps and sweating.

Heat Stoke: Body temperatures of 40*C i.e. 104*F or more along with delirium, seizures or coma. This is a potential fatal condition.

Here Are The Do's And Don'ts Prescribed By The National Disaster Management Authority:

What To Do During A Heat Wave

- Recognise the signs of heat stroke, heat rash or heat cramps such as weakness, dizziness, headache, nausea, sweating and seizures.

- Drink lots of water

- Rest in shade; and take breaks if you must work in the sun

- Place a cool, wet cloth on your head to cool off

- Check on neighbours and elderly family members to ensure that they're keeping cool

- Wear light and loose clothes

- Use an umbrella or hat; or cover your head with a cloth

What NOT To Do During A Heat Wave

- Do not go out in the direct sun

- Avoid extensive physical activity

- Do not send children or pets out in the sun or leave them in closed vehicles.

- Do not consume caffeinated drinks (including aerated drinks) and alcohol during extreme heat

- Avoid wearing dark, heavy or tight clothes

- Avoid cooking during peak heat hours. If you must cook, open doors and windows to ventilate the cooking area adequately.

Read: Heatwave Sweeping India Claims Over 1,000 Lives, Ex-Gratia Of Rs 1 Lakh To Kin Of Victims

(With inputs from agencies)

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