Hot And Bothered? Here’s How To Stay Safe In This Heaty And Hazy Season
The hot weather is expected to last until August so here’s what you can do to keep yourself safe and comfortable.
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With the heatwave and haze upon us, it’s more important than ever to properly care for ourselves so we do not fall ill from heat strokes.
On Saturday, natural resources, environment and climate change minister Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad said the prolonged hot weather is expected to last until August before the monsoon transition season.
READ MORE: Haze Returns And It Might Not Be Indonesia’s Fault This Time
Here are some suggestions to keep safe and cool during the heatwave and haze period:
1. Check the API reading
Before heading out, remember to check the Air Pollution Index (API) reading so you can prepare and plan your day accordingly.
You can check the hourly API reading in Malaysia at the Department of Environment (APIMS)’s website here. There’s also an app called IQAir [Android, iOS] which uses data from APIMS.
2. Wear a mask
When it’s hazy outside, it’s better to wear a suitable mask to filter out the pollutants you breathe in as you go out and about.
3. Use an umbrella or wear a hat
To avoid direct exposure to the blistering heat, it’s good to use an umbrella or a hat to shield yourself. Having an umbrella or wearing a hat also helps to protect the skin from sun damage. It’s time to follow the vampire code and stick to areas with shade.
4. Stay hydrated
As it goes without saying, it’s important to say hydrated in the hot and hazy weather. Staying hydrated does not only prevent dehydration, but it also helps to prevent heat stroke, and keep the body cool and at a normal temperature. Other than plain water, isotonic sports drinks can help replenish the lost salts, sugars and fluids from sweating.
5. Limit strenuous activity
You can still workout, but remember to do it indoors and stay hydrated. You should limit yourself from doing strenuous activities, especially when it involves going outdoors for prolonged periods of time.
6. Take frequent showers or baths
Another good way to keep cool is to take frequent showers or baths. An alternative is to wet a towel or t-shirt to dab yourself since heat escapes through our skin. The more the skin can cool down, the better.
7. Use a nasal spray or eyewash
Our eyes and nose can take the worst brunt of the haze. A good nasal spray can help to clean the nose and also relieve a stuffy nose. Meanwhile, an eye wash is good for cleaning and soothing the eyes and works to prevent eye infections or inflammations due to dirty air.
8. Close windows and use air purifiers or filters
Closing the windows prevents the polluted air from entering your home. Using an air purifier can help to minimise the stuffiness and ensure there’s clean air circulating inside the house. However, remember to clean the filters too so that the air purifier can filter the air better.
While we try to use fans to keep cool during the day, it might be best to turn on the air conditioner at home, especially on days when it’s extremely hot.
In cars, it’s advisable to switch to the air recirculation mode.
9. Choose the proper fabrics to wear
To keep cool, it’s best to wear breathable materials and avoid fabrics that are dark, thick or tight. Breathable fabrics include clothes that are made out of cotton, linen, seersucker (sister fabric of cotton), and jersey. If you’re feeling fancy, silk is apparently a breathable material too.
10. Care for your pets too
Your pets are also feeling the effects of the heat and haze. Remember to keep them cool in shady areas, provide enough drinking water, and limit exercise in the hot outdoors. Most of the suggestions for humans are applicable to house pets too.
READ MORE: How to protect your pets from the worsening haze
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