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Rising Temperatures and Deadly Heat Waves

Understanding the Dangers of Rising Temperatures in India. Tips for Beating the Heat and Staying Healthy

By Vinod Chandrashehar Dixit

As temperatures continue to rise around the globe, the risk of extreme and deadly heat waves is becoming an increasingly concerning issue. According to a 2017 study published in Nature Climate Change, man-made climate change is to blame for the increasing frequency and intensity of heat waves. Nowhere is this more evident than in India during the summer months, when scorching temperatures can make even the most experienced individuals feel exhausted and at risk of heatstroke.

According to research published in 2017 by Nature Climate Change, extreme and deadly heat waves are getting more frequent (and will affect more people), because of man-made climate change.  Heat waves are among the most dangerous of natural hazards, the frequency and intensity of which will rise in the 21st century due to climate change.

The mercury will be at its peak during the summer. Heat becomes unbearable even during the early hours of the day. The summertime in India can be brutal even for the most experienced of us. Besides making us feel tired and zapped, it can even be downright harmful by increasing the risk of heatstroke.

Summer is especially warm because during this time that part of the earth is directly under the sun and its rays are focused on the area, drying up ponds and lakes and this can lead to a scarcity of water. Summer days can be extremely hot and people usually the elderly suffer from heat strokes, in the past this has resulted in some deaths, during this season children may also suffer from summer boils. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 1,70,000 people died due to heat waves from 1998-2019.

In summer, the heart rate is elevated. When running with a heart rate monitor, remember that higher temperatures also boost our heart rate even if we run at our usual pace. Therefore, it might be a good idea to take it a bit slower. If the outside temperature is too high with unbearable humid, one should consider doing an abbreviated exercise routine.

Rising Temperatures and Deadly Heat Waves

Drink lots of liquids to replace the fluids you lose from sweating. Do not wait until you feel like you need a drink. Thirst is not a reliable sign that your body needs fluids. When you exercise, you should take small sips of liquid rather than large drinks. Water is the best drink to replace lost fluids. Water with salt added can be used if you sweat a lot.

Doctors have always advised small, frequent meals during the day and not to skip breakfast for overall good health of a person. This becomes all the more important during summers as it prevents low blood pressure and dizziness during very hot days.

Fruits like watermelon and grapes nourish and cool our body and give moisture to our skin. They also help to counter the influence of the summer heat. Mango, another popular fruit available during this season, is also very good for health. It clears the skin, eyes, reduces cholesterol, and alkalizes the whole body. But, it should be consumed in limited quantity as too much consumption can raise the body heat and might cause stomach problems.

Don’t forget to put on sunglasses when going out. Even wide-brimmed hats are effective to protect oneself from the sun. There are some who prefer to cover their heads with scarfs, stoles or dupattas. This is also a good option but make sure that the scarf or stole is of a light material like cotton. This will prevent the heat from directly reaching your head. It will also protect you from the hot loo.

The leading food poisoning causes is the consumption of contaminated food or water. It spreads by bacteria, viruses, toxins, and chemicals which, post entering the human body, cause the onset of stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea or vomiting.  The primary reason behind the outbreak of diseases in summer is the presence of favorable weather conditions for bacteria, viruses, and other parasites to breed

Let us follow the basic heat safety tips in order to avoid the dangers of heat exposure. We need to stay fit with a bit of awareness and a few precautions to enjoy the good times.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of this newspaper.

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