Baby, it’s hot outside!


Jammu and Kashmir News

By Citizen Journalist Ravi Mahajan
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Complaining about the weather seems like a national pastime these days. Heat and humidity aren’t only uncomfortable – they can be downright dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions.
With the mercury soaring, these complaints aren’t just empty complaints. The dampness and the dehydration can make just anyone go mad.

The weather as such proves to be fatal for the elderly, young children, and people with existing respiratory problems like asthma and other health conditions, as they are especially susceptible to illness as a result of the heat and pollution. Not just them, even the healthy individuals face increased health risks when the temperatures climbs. The risks are far greater when it’s humid because humidity decreases your body’s ability to cool itself off through sweating.

Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion and – the worst of the bunch – heat stroke. Heat cramps are cramps caused by a loss in electrolytes from sweating. Heat exhaustion, which can be a precursor to heat stroke, is when your body’s natural cooling system breaks down, causing your body temperature to rise. This can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and a rapid heartbeat. Left untreated, it can develop into heat stroke, which is when the body’s temperature climbs above 41°C. Heat stroke can prove deadly, so if you see any symptoms developing, seek emergency medical attention immediately. Symptoms include confusion or delirium, fever greater than 41°C, rapid heartbeat, seizures, and unconsciousness.

But these conditions can be prevented, so long as you take precautions when temperatures soar. It’s just a matter of how you beat the heat.

The most common way out for people nowadays is by covering themselves. Women are seen cloaking, covering every possible inch of skin, including their face, their arms and hands. They try not to expose even a single cell of their body to the scorching rays of the sun.

There are however many other ways to cool oneself. Some of them are drinking up enough fluids throughout the day, practicing sun smarts by limiting the number of hours outdoors, limiting strenuous activities, especially during the hottest hours of the day and seeking out cool places, in public or elsewhere.