Summer heat: Avoid direct contact with sunlight between 12 pm-3 pm, rearrange working hours

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Thiruvananthapuram: In the wake of the scorching summer, Kerala labour commissioner has asked the workers in the state to avoid direct contact with sunlight.

The commissioner has asked to rearrange the working hours in two shifts, from 7 am to 7 pm. Contacting sunlight between 12 pm to 3 pm must be avoided. However, this is not applicable to workers who do not have exposure to the sunlight.

Earlier, India Meteorological Department had issued a warning for heat waves between March and May, especially in north India. Following this, the union health ministry had advised the public to avoid venturing out during 12 pm to 3 pm.

As part of the national action plan on heat-related illness, the union ministry also advised citizens to avoid high-protein food and cooking during the peak summer hours.

In the advisory, the ministry has also asked people to drink sufficient water whenever possible, even if not thirsty.

It has also asked people to use Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS), and consume homemade drinks like lemon water, butter milk/lassi, fruit juices with some added salt and stay indoors in well ventilated and cool places.

Residents have also been advised to consume fresh fruits such as watermelon, cucumber, lemon, and orange, wear thin, loose, cotton garments preferably light coloured ones, cover head using umbrella, hat, cap, towel and other traditional headgears during exposure to direct sunlight and not go out barefoot.

It has asked people to watch out for symptoms of "heat stress" which include dizziness or fainting, nausea or vomiting, headache, extreme thirst, decreased urination with unusually dark yellow urine, and rapid breathing and heartbeat.

"Do not leave children or pets in parked vehicles. Temperature inside a vehicle could get dangerous," the advisory read.

"Block direct sunlight and heat waves: Keep windows and curtains closed during the day, especially on the sunny side of your house. Open them up at night to let cooler air in.

"If going outdoors, limit your outdoor activity to cooler times of the day i.e., morning and evening," it stated.

The advisory also mentioned a list of "vulnerable populations which includes infants and young children, pregnant women, people working outdoors, people having mental illness, people who are physically ill especially with heart disease or high blood pressure and people coming from cooler climate to hot climate.

With PTI inputs

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