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Heatwave iIndia

During heatwaves, people often experience health issues like dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. (Photo: Pixabay)

India braces for heatwave: Top tips to stay safe in sweltering conditions

Heatwave in India: Heat waves in India are a recurring phenomenon, particularly during summer, typically between April and June. These heat waves are characterised by exceptionally high temperatures and can last several days or weeks.

What is a heatwave?

A heatwave is a prolonged period of scorching weather, typically accompanied by high humidity. Heatwaves can pose serious health risks, especially for vulnerable populations such as the elderly, young children, and individuals with pre-existing health conditions. Here are some tips to protect yourself during a heatwave.

How do heat waves impact you?

During heatwaves, people often experience health issues like dehydration, heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.

Why do heatwaves happen?

Heatwaves occur due to a combination of meteorological factors that create sweltering and dry conditions over a large area for an extended period. These factors can include:

High-Pressure Systems: Heatwaves are often associated with stationary high-pressure systems. These systems can cause sinking air and suppress cloud formation, leading to clear skies and intense heating.

Lack of Moisture: Heatwaves are exacerbated by the absence of moisture in the atmosphere, as dry air heats up more quickly and efficiently than humid air.

Geographical Features: Certain geographical features, such as deserts or urban areas with extensive pavement and buildings (the urban heat island effect), can amplify heat during heat waves.

Climate Change: Climate change is believed to increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves worldwide by altering atmospheric circulation patterns and rising average global temperatures.

Heatwave in India: Some simple tips to stay safe

Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol, as they can dehydrate you.

Stay Cool: If possible, spend time indoors in air-conditioned buildings. If you don’t have air conditioning at home, consider visiting public places like shopping malls, libraries, or community centers that do.

Dress Appropriately: Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothing made of breathable fabrics like cotton. Light-colored clothing can also help reflect sunlight.

Limit Outdoor Activity: If you must be outdoors, try to schedule activities for the early morning or evening when it’s cooler. Take frequent breaks in the shade or indoors to cool down.

Protect Your Skin: Wear sunscreen with a high SPF to protect against sunburn, and reapply it regularly, especially if you’re sweating or swimming.

Stay Informed: Pay attention to weather forecasts and heat advisories from local authorities. They may provide important information and advice for staying safe during extreme heat.

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By taking these precautions, you can help protect yourself and others from the dangers of heatwaves.