Scorching summer: 5 tips to beat the heatwave

Stay safe and comfortable with this essential guide to beat the heat


Kerala is going through a severe heatwave, and the temperatures have reached an all-time high of 40 degrees, causing fatalities due to sunstroke. Necessary precautions should be taken to beat the heat and stay healthy. According to Dr Radha Unnikrishnan, a leading city-based physician, taking adequate measures to combat the heat, including staying hydrated should be a priority in this extreme heat situation.

Dr Radha says that it is important to note that people with hypothermia and breathing problems such as asthma may be more vulnerable during sudden temperature rises, and the medications they take can even lead to dehydration.

Extreme temperatures can lead to heatstroke, a serious condition in which body temperature rises to dangerous levels and can even be fatal. Furthermore, facing direct sunlight for long periods can lead to many diseases and skin conditions such as heat rash, conjunctivitis also known as pink eye, and respiratory problems. The increased body temperature can even lead to high fever. 

Here are a few tips by Dr Radha to help you keep your cool during this heatwave. 

1. Cover up with a protective shield

Using a protective covering or shield while stepping outside can help in controlling the body temperature from rising. Taking an umbrella, wearing gloves, especially while riding two-wheelers, and wearing hats, and sunglasses to avoid eye infections are some of the ways to protect from direct sunlight. Also, most importantly, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30.

2. Taking tepid showers

Another way of cooling yourself down is by replacing cold showers with tepid ones. There is a common misconception that cold showers are the way to go during summertime but using lukewarm water instead, enhances blood circulation and is an instant way to cool the body.

3. Avoid applying rash powders

Another prevalent misconception is the excessive use of rash powder or cooling powder to ease skin discomfort. Applying such powders can worsen skin rashes. It is crucial to note that cooling powder can have many side effects due to the potentially harmful ingredients it contains.

4. Protect your eyes

During heatwaves, eye infections, such as conjunctivitis, become more prevalent. To protect from these ailments, it is crucial to shield the eyes from direct sunlight. Utilising eyedrops and wearing proper eyewear can help to reduce the risk of getting communicable eye infections.

5. Drinking electrolytes

Swap out carbonated drinks and hot coffee or tea and opt for electrolyte-rich options like ORS or tender coconut water as they not only help to balance the body’s pH levels and promote hydration but also replenish essential minerals in our body.

When facing a heatwave it is imperative to follow these practices to safeguard one’s well-being. Hydrating oneself, choosing appropriate clothing and avoiding strenuous activities can effectively eliminate the major risks associated with extreme heat.


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