Doctors’ issue guidelines to ‘beat the heat’

Date:

‘Increase water intake, avoid sunlight, take citrus fruits, saladas’

Jahangeer Ganaie

Srinagar, Sep 13 : As the heatwave and dry weather continue in Kashmir, health experts have advised people, especially those who are exposed to direct sunlight, to take precautions.

Several doctors who spoke to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) said people need to increase their water intake even if they aren’t feeling thirsty to remain hydrated.

Dr Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, Assistant Professor, Department of General Medicine at SKIMS Soura, said people must try to avoid direct sunlight as much as they can and keep themselves hydrated, especially those working in open air like agricultural workers and labourers.

“People need to consume enough water multiple times every day. They should prioritise their working hours – morning and evening – and avoid working during midday. They must also take fruits and vegetables besides electrolyte-rich fluids like coconut water and fruit juice,” he said.

Excessive heat can lead to excessive sweating dehydration and heatstroke and also a number of health problems like drowsiness, irritability, muscle cramps, drop in blood pressure, headaches, fatigue, confusion, dry & pale skin, and palpitations, Dr Fayaz added.

Dr Mohammad Salim Khan, Head of Department, Community Medicine at GMC Srinagar, said people should avoid direct sunlight, especially in paddy fields, and shall wear full sleeves to protect themselves against insects and mosquitoes.

“Those working in the fields must drink a lot of fluids to keep themselves hydrated,” he said.

The doctors said hot weather can create problems for those with heart disease and high blood pressure. They warned against drinking too much tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks, saying these cause loss of fluid from the body.

“Eating cold foods, fruits with high water content like melon, citrus fruits, and salads should be preferred. Highly-spiced food is not desirable in summer as it leads to excessive need of water to quench the thirst,” they said, adding, “Clothes which one wears are also important. Wear light and loosely fitting clothes of lighter colours. Darker colours, especially black, absorb more heat and transmit it to the body.”—(KNO)

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