Eat, drink from street vendors at your own risk

Though children are more prone to heat stroke, it affects people of all age groups

Doctors don’t want to be alarmist, but with temperature soaring in the city, they warn of havoc in your system if you don’t take precautions.

Though children and the aged are more prone to heat-related problems, doctors say heat stroke and dehydration can affect people in every age group if they do not take precautions in terms of exposure to sun, their clothing, food and lifestyle.

The common advice is to avoid staying out between 11 am and 5 pm. “If you must go out, it must not be for more than half-an-hour at a stretch. But make sure you drink lots of water before you leave home and carry either water or any liquid containing salt in a flask,” says Dr P C Kathuria, senior consultant of allergy and asthma at BLK Super Speciality Hospital.

Take cover under black umbrellas while outside in the afternoon. “Using an umbrella in summer is not in our culture. But people must realise that it is more important in this season than during monsoon,” says Dr R N Srivastava, senior consultant of paediatric nephrology at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

Sunglasses become a necessity instead of a fashion statement with the rise in mercury. But Dr Shashank Rai Gupta, senior eye specialist at Vasan Eye Care, says it is necessary that sunglasses are capable of protecting the eyes from ultraviolet rays. Dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis are two problems that affect many in this season.

“Dryness in Delhi’s heat leads to conjunctivitis, which is very infectious. People travelling in buses and Metro should not rub their eyes before washing their hands,” says Dr Gupta.
Kids are most susceptible to heat strokes, diarrhoea and dehydration. But it is the children of daily wage labourers slogging out in the sun who are in real danger.

“Educated parents know what precautions to take. But the condition of women labourers’ children is worrisome. The kids must be wrapped in wet clothes and kept indoors. The onus lies on employers,” says Dr Srivastava.

Dr Vandana Boobna, consultant of internal medicine and preventive healthcare at Max Healthcare, says parents should be on the lookout for signs in toddlers as they cannot express themselves. “If kids show signs of lethargy, cramps, leg pain or increased sleepiness, they must be rushed to a doctor,” says Dr Boobna.

Avoiding unhygienic conditions and contaminated food can control heat-related problems to a great degree. “Food from unhygienic vendors and water from roadside trolleys are a complete no-no. In fact, despite it also being a season of wedding and parties, parents must avoid taking their children to weddings,” says Dr Srivastava.

Next time you feel fatigue, your body feels very heated up or you tend to vomit, look for a cool place, drink lots of water and make a dash to the nearest hospital.

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