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Doctors warn of heatstroke risks as temperatures soar, advise precautions

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Srinagar: As temperatures soared across Jammu and Kashmir in the last few weeks, health officials have raised concerns about the dangers of heatstroke.

Officials explained that heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature regulation system is overwhelmed by high heat and humidity, leading to a rapid rise in body temperature.

Symptoms of heatstroke include dizziness, confusion, rapid heartbeat, headache, and hot, dry skin, they said, adding that if left untreated, heatstroke can result in organ damage and even death.

Dr Showkat, a doctor at the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir (DHSK), said that certain groups are particularly vulnerable to heatstroke, including the elderly, children, individuals with chronic medical conditions, and outdoor workers. “As climate change continues to drive up temperatures, it’s essential for everyone to take precautions to stay safe in the heat,” he said.

Preventive measures recommended by health officials include staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, wearing lightweight and light-coloured clothing, seeking shade during peak sun hours (12 noon to 4 pm), avoiding strenuous activity in hot weather, and never leaving children in parked vehicles, as temperatures inside can quickly reach dangerous levels.

Dr Mohammad Salim Khan, head of the Department of Community Medicine at GMC Srinagar, said there are unprecedented higher temperatures observed these days and called for following basic safety tips.

The tips, Dr Khan shared, include staying indoors during peak heat hours unless absolutely necessary, consuming 1-3 litres more water/fluids than usual, depending on indoor or outdoor activities, preferring ORS solution, lassi, chaach (buttermilk), and soups to compensate for water and mineral losses, avoiding tea, coffee, and carbonated drinks as they increase urination, avoiding sugary drinks and juices due to increased caloric intake, wearing light-coloured, loose clothing instead of dark, tight clothes, using scarves, caps, or umbrellas to cover the body and applying sunscreen to prevent UV ray damage and skin tanning.

He called for avoiding outdoor sports activities during hot days, taking extra water/fluids when sleeping under a fan to replenish water losses due to excessive evaporation, avoiding stale food from food outlets to prevent diarrheal diseases, which are more common during this season, ensuring raw fruits and vegetables are washed thoroughly before consumption, taking extra care of children and elderly persons.

Dr Salim further advised that anyone feeling symptoms such as exhaustion, laziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, headache, dizziness, mental clouding, or disorientation should visit a nearby health facility immediately.

Doctors said that by staying informed and taking proactive steps to prevent heatstroke, people can protect itself from the potentially deadly effects of extreme heat—(KNO)


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