The country is burning up and it's only June! With one of India's longest and most intense heat waves in decades, the temperature in India has reached 50.5 degree Celsius. The rise in temperature has claimed 49 people in Bihar in the last two days, even as rain soothed the climate in northern and western states of India.
A heat wave is a prolonged period of excessively hot weather, above 45 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is above 47 degrees Celsius for a prolonged period, then it is considered a severe heat wave. The country has experienced 32 heat waves this year already, with Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra affected most.
The schools in Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and several parts of Central India have announced that they will remain shut till June 19 to avoid heatstrokes in children.
While talking about the deaths from heatstroke in Bihar, senior health office Vijay Kumar told a newspaper, "It was a sudden development on Saturday afternoon. People affected by heatstroke were rushed to different hospitals. Most of them died on Saturday night and some on Sunday morning during treatment."
So, what are the measures you can take to stay safe from the heat wave hitting the country?
Drink lots of water and avoid warm and hot beverages through the day like tea and coffee. Aerated soft drinks also dehydrate you, so replace them with sports drinks or lassi, buttermilk and coconut water.
Ditch the meat this month and replace your salty food with fresh fruits and vegetables that will help cool your body down. Add greens and onions to your diet, for they help soothe your stomach.
Avoid stepping out into direct sunlight from 11 am to 3 pm as it will dehydrate your body. Also, avoid any physical exercise or activity during this period of time because your body will find it hard to cool down.
Applying a layer of sunscreen 30 minutes before you step out of the sun will protect you from the sun.
To beat the heat, wear light colours and breathable fabrics like cotton and linen. Also, it is advisable to cover your head with a hat or a scarf before you step out. You can also carry a umbrella since monsoon is just around the corner.
Stay safe, ladies!