The summer season in India is from the month of March and lasts up to June. Currently, India is experiencing heat waves and the temperature in some places is crossing even 45 degrees. Loo winds are a common occurrence in India. They blow at noon time and continue till evening. It not only gets unbearable; it also increases the risk of heatstroke and other health issues. Heat can be dangerous for your body, it can especially affect children, elderly people, and people with health concerns. It makes you fall ill, causes muscle cramps, dehydration, dizziness, fainting, confusion, nausea, diarrhoea, headache, and fatigue. There are a few precautions you may take to avoid these heat-related health issues.
Precautions to Protect Yourself from Hot Winds
Here are some tips for protecting yourself from the extreme summer heat:
1. Dress Right
If you have to step out when the loo winds are blowing, wear loose-fitting, light coloured clothes, as wearing dark-coloured clothes will absorb sun rays, making you feel hotter than usual. Choose to wear fabrics like cotton or linen, which are breathable and lightweight to keep the temperature of your body regulated in the scorching heat. You must also consider wearing long-sleeved clothes, hats, and scarves to protect your skin from the harmful UV rays.
2. Use Sunscreen
Avoid direct exposure to sunlight, as the loo or environmental heat is bad for your skin. You must wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen when outdoors as well as indoors to prevent having rough and dull skin. Sunscreen lotion should be applied all over the body liberally.
3. Avoid High-Intensity Exercises
Do not exercise vigorously during the hottest hours of the day. You can go for a brisk walk, run, jog, or exercise in the evening or early morning. When the temperature is too high and humidity is unbearable, you should consider doing your exercises indoors.
4. Stay Hydrated
Drink lots of water to replace the fluids you lose from sweating. Even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink liquids at frequent intervals. Water is the best drink, you may also try drinking coconut water, watermelon juice, etc. You must drink water with sugar and salt every day. The state of dehydration can cause headache, tiredness, and a weakened pulse. It is important that the elderlies, children, people who are outdoors, and diabetic patients, are drinking enough. Do not drink alcoholic beverages or beverages with caffeine as they speed up fluid loss.
5. Protect Your Eyes
Excessive exposure to the sun may cause irreversible damage to the eye. This also results in bad headaches. Always wear a good pair of sunglasses that provide UV protection when stepping out. In case you’re wearing prescription glasses, you should get lenses with an added layer for UV protection. Also, using an active cooling gel eye mask can provide great relief to your eyes after a long and tiring day in the sun.
6. Watch Your Plate
The food you eat and its quantity determine a lot. During summer, you must eat more body cooling foods and eat light, small, and frequent meals instead of heavy meals for better digestion. Maintain basic food hygiene, do not eat outside snacks to avoid food poisoning, as food and water-borne diseases are very common in summers. Always wash vegetables after buying them and let them come to room temperature before consuming them. You can add melons, salads, green vegetables, cucumbers, etc. to your diet. Ensure adequate intake of salt which will help maintain the blood pressure.
Loo winds are strong, hot, and dry. You must try and stay indoors during this time and if you notice symptoms such as high fever, restlessness, vomiting, headache, burning, red eyes, or dryness of mouth and the whole body, take necessary measures. These measures include a cold foot bath or shower, staying in an air-conditioned room for a while, and hydrating yourself. It is advised to get medical help immediately if you experience or see anyone suffering a heat stroke.