Heatwaves are sweeping across many different parts of the world. There are hot summer days, and then there are heatwaves. Heatwaves are periods of unusually hot weather, often accompanied by high humidity. It is important to not take a heatwave lightly, as it can be fatal. But what is a heatwave? When temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius in and around plains, 37 degrees Celsius in coastal regions, and 35 degrees Celsius in hilly areas, it signals extreme weather or a heatwave. Symptoms of a heatwave can include vomiting, dehydration, dizziness, sunburn, headaches, and even a heat stroke. Taking precautions, especially for those who must be outdoors, is crucial to avoiding falling ill. Heatwave in Mumbai: How To Survive Hot Weather? Six Easy Hacks To Keep Yourself Cool in Sweltering Summer Heat.

What Is a Heatwave?

A heat wave, or heatwave, also referred to as extreme heat, is a period of abnormally hot weather. High humidity often accompanies heat waves. A heat wave is usually measured relative to the usual climate in the area and to normal temperatures for the season. Temperatures that humans from a hotter climate consider normal, can be regarded as a heat wave in a cooler area. This would be the case if the warm temperatures are outside the normal climate pattern for that area. Heat waves have become more frequent and intense over land, across almost every area on Earth, since the last couple of years. This is mainly caused by climate change.

Why Is Heatwaves Trending?

Heatwaves have been on the rise in recent years. Heatwaves have been occurring more frequently and intensely across the globe. A heatwave is mainly caused by climate change. The number of heatwave days in India, for example, has been steadily rising, with climate change being a significant factor. Factors like urbanisation, local weather conditions, industrial activities, deforestation, etc. also contribute to the rise in the number of heatwave days.

Five Simple Ways To Survive a Heatwave

To reduce the impact of heatwaves and minimise the risk of heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, it's important to take preventive measures. Here are five simple ways to survive a heatwave.

1. Limit your outdoor activities. If possible, avoid going outside, especially between 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm when the sun is at its peak.

2. Stay hydrated at all times. Drink plenty of cold water and refreshing juices and beverages throughout the day to stay hydrated. Avoid alcohol, and carry water with you wherever you go.

3. Dress appropriately for the weather. Wear lightweight, loose-fitting clothes in light colours, preferably made of pure cotton, to stay cool. Avoid tight-fitting clothes.

4. Protect yourself whenever you step out. Wear sunglasses, a hat, a cap, or carry an umbrella when stepping out during the day to protect yourself from the sun's rays.

5. Sunburn can worsen dehydration and slow the body's ability to cool down. Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher at least 30 minutes before going outside, and reapply as directed on the bottle. Heatwave: People With Respiratory Problems Should Avoid Cold Drinks, Ice Cream in Summer, Says Expert.

Heatwaves can cause significant health risks. But with awareness and proper precautions, it's possible to stay safe and comfortable during extreme heat events. Taking steps to stay cool and hydrated, along with protecting oneself from the sun, can help reduce the effects of heatwaves and the likelihood of heat-related illnesses.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Apr 24, 2024 04:46 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).