Here’s how to avoid getting a heat stroke while driving in summers

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The scorching sunlight and roasting temperatures around the summers in Pakistan say a lot more than the mere message of the hot weather. The temperatures in some land areas of Pakistan may rise as high as 50 degrees centigrade. This is the time when victims of heat stroke, commonly known as “LOO LAGNA” in the local language, rush in to the hospitals.

It would be wrong to say that the affected masses may only be the pedestrians, but the passengers and drivers have to be careful as well. The most common cause is usually the water and electrolyte imbalance caused by severe loss of the same due to excessive sweating. The symptoms may range from simple anxiety, restlessness, stupor, and delirium, to fainting, coma and even death. Here are some simple solutions to combat the menace in the boiling weather ahead.

1. Always keep yourself adequately hydrated before driving out in sun, especially during noon and afternoon. Drink plenty of water, juices and fluids to prevent dehydration.

2. Avoid using unhealthy sunblocks, creams and lotions. Always buy a natural product from a well-reputed company. Some cheap products may even be at the cost of your skin.

3. Don’t use tinted glass as it is unlawful. Try to comply with the local regulations when using screens or sunshades.

4. Protect your eyes with the aid of good quality sunglasses. Vendors selling sunglasses on the roads may sound economical but are potentially harmful to your vision.

5. Get the service and maintenance of your car’s air conditioner (if available) done, before going on long routes. Otherwise plan for a cooler time (i.e. in the evening or early morning), especially if you opt to travel via motorway or GT road.

6. Abstain from unnecessary traveling during daytime.

7. Don’t take kids, sick or elderly people for a ride in the sun, unless it is extremely inevitable.

8. Keep ample supply of water, both for yourself and for your vehicle, depending on the traveling distance of your route.

9. The working potential reduces considerably in the extremes of temperature, especially driving during summers. Take a rest before it gets troublesome.

10. Consult the nearby doctor or hospital immediately if you find a person succumbing to heat.

I am a Doctor (MBBS, M.SC, M.Phil), a teacher at a medical college in Faisalabad, and a practicing nutritionist. During 2004-2005, I was declared the 'Best Debater in Pakistan', in a contest hosted by HEC which was participated by 73 Universities and DAIs.

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