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Beat the heat: Here’s how to stay cool in a heatwave

The Pakistan Meteorological Department says temperature will rise by at least 10 degrees
Published 16 Mar, 2022 12:17pm
File photo.
File photo.

The Pakistan Meteorological Department has issued a warning about a heatwave for this week, with temperatures rising by at least 10 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country.

In 2018, 65 people lost their lives during one of the deadliest heatwaves in Pakistan. The temperatures rose to a scorching 44 degrees and coincided with power outages and the holy month of Ramazan, which made it difficult for people to manage the heat. According to a report in Reuters, before that at least 1300 people had died of dehydration and heatstroke in a 2015 heatwave in the country.

Given the terrible history in Pakistan, a heatwave warning can cause panic among people, with many wondering how they would cope in the hot weather.

Managing a heatwave is possible if you’re aware, prepared, and ready for action.

Here are some tips that can help you survive the heat.

Stay Hydrated

Your body needs water to stay cool, so drink lots of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty. But stay away from sugary and caffeinated drinks. An average person needs to drink at least three-quarters of a gallon of water every day. Make sure you keep up.

Avoid the sun

The sun is the hottest between 11 am and 2 pm, make sure you limit your exposure to the sunlight during these hours to avoid chances of overheating. If you have no other choice but to go out, dress for the weather. Go for a loose breathable outfit in a light color. You can pair it up with a hat and a pair of sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun. Not to mention wear sunblock to protect from the sun's harmful rays.

Cool down the “hot zones”

Ankles, neck, temple, elbow bends, wrists and the area behind the knees are some pressure points that need to stay cool to prevent a heat stroke. Apply an ice pack or a bottle filled with cold water to these spots for an immediate cooling effect.

Take more showers

Take multiple short and quick showers to beat the heat, especially one before going to bed.

Eat light

Hot and heavy meals might not be the best option when the temperatures are high. Go for food that cooler, such as green vegetables, salads, smoothies and fruits.

Signs of heat-related illness

Here are some signs of heat-related illness that may require prompt medical attention.

• Dizziness • Tiredness • Irritability • Thirst • Fainting • Muscle pains or cramps • Headaches • Changes in skin colour • Rapid pulse • Shallow breathing • Vomiting • Darker coloured urine • Confusion

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