How to Stay Safe from Heat Stroke as Pune Grapples with Rising Temperatures?

As Pune battles rising temperatures and humidity, residents face heightened risks of heat stroke. Learn how to identify symptoms, protect vulnerable groups, and implement effective preventive measures to ensure safety during the heating season.
How to Stay Safe from Heat Stroke as Pune Grapples with Rising Temperatures?
How to Stay Safe from Heat Stroke as Pune Grapples with Rising Temperatures?Image Credit: The Bridge Chronicle

As Pune faces soaring temperatures and increased humidity, residents are at an increased risk of heat-related illnesses, particularly heat stroke. With temperatures regularly hitting around 39-40 degrees Celsius and occasionally even higher, the situation is made worse by high levels of moisture in the air. This combination creates a stifling environment that can lead to serious health risks if precautions are not taken.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) has noted that while Pune may not technically experience a heat wave, which requires temperatures to exceed normal highs by 5-7 degrees Celsius, the current conditions are nevertheless perilous. According to experts, the city's proximity to moisture-laden winds from the Arabian Sea exacerbates the situation, increasing both the temperature and the humidity levels. Moreover, the frequency and intensity of heat conditions in Maharashtra have risen, demanding strong actions from authorities and individuals alike. Last year, 3,191 people in Pune experienced heat-related illnesses, with 22 confirmed heat stroke deaths between March and July 2023.

Symptoms and Prevention of Heat Stroke 

Heat stroke is a severe form of heat exhaustion that occurs when the body overheats and is unable to cool down. Symptoms include high body temperature, a rapid pulse, throbbing headache, dizziness, nausea, and even loss of consciousness. Immediate measures such as moving to a cooler place, loosening clothing, and applying cool water can be lifesaving.

Preventive measures are essential and include staying hydrated, avoiding outdoor activities during peak heat hours (typically from 11 AM to 4 PM), wearing light clothing, and using sunscreen. Special care should be taken by vulnerable groups like the elderly and those with chronic illnesses, who are more susceptible to heat-related ailments. 

Some practical measures are: 

Hydration: Drink plenty of water and electrolyte-rich beverages to stay hydrated. 

Diet: Eat light meals that are easy to digest and avoid heavy, greasy foods. 

Clothing and environment: Wear light-colored, breathable clothing and stay in air-conditioned environments or use fans to circulate air. 

Sun protection: Use hats, umbrellas, and sunscreen to protect against UV rays. Monitoring Health: Be aware of the signs of heat-related illnesses and respond quickly to symptoms. 

By understanding the risks and adopting these preventive measures, residents of Pune can safeguard themselves against the dangers of heat stroke and continue to thrive even during periods of intense heat.

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