The heat wave of 2015 in Karachi proved to be terrifying beyond belief. Especially, with the Holy month of Ramazan and people fasting, the heat became unbearable.
The torment would have not been heightened so much, if the government had planned ahead and taken the necessary measures to deal with the power shortage. Continuous power breakdowns coupled with a scarcity of water has led many adults and children towards death.
Statistics claim that about 2,000 people have lost their lives to the heat. On top of that, the government had no sense to take steps to at least inform the people about the necessary measures that they should take to beat the heat and save lives.
Simple remedies would have saved the lives of many, who succumbed to death as their relatives hopelessly waited for a doctor to attend their loved ones.
This article hopes to educate the readers about the simple measures that they can take before the situation worsens for their relatives or friends. First of all, you must have heard about the proverb,’ Prevention is better than Cure’, so it is better to equip yourself against the heat rather than falling prey to it.
- Select Loose fitting, light coloured and light weight clothes so that your body is allowed to cool. Forget tight fitting jeans or shirts for this summer even if it seems to affect your persona, as your health is much important than how you look.
- Cover your neck and your head with a wet cloth when you are exposed to the sun. This will keep your head cool.
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to protect your skin from sunburn. A sun burnt body will have a reduced ability to cool itself. Also wear wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to shade your body. Apply sun screen generously and reapply every two hours or more.
- Increase the intake of water. During fasting, you can’t take water, so make sure that you replenish your body’s water content during the non-fasting hours. Include ORS, Lassi and lemonades in your Iftar meals, as the body also loses salts in sweating.
- Stay in an open and ventilated space with air circulation during the day and avoid going out as much as possible.
- Do not stay out in a parked car or leave your children in it, as this is a common cause of heat related deaths in children. When parked in the sun, the temperature in your car rises 20 degrees F in 10 minutes. Do not leave anyone in the car in a warm weather, even if it is parked in a shaded area.
- Avoid extra strenuous activities. Rest frequently in cool spots. People taking medications should take special care in hot weather.
- Avoid drinking cold drinks.
In case of heatstroke, home remedies can prove to be life saving. In these conditions, it is important to lower the body temperature.
- Immediately shift the patient to a cool place.
- Clean the body with a wet cloth.
- Pour water of a normal temperature on the patient’s head.
- Give lemonade or ORS to the patient to drink.
Shift the patient immediately to the nearest medical facility.