Mumbai is sizzling and how! Not only are Mumbaikars battling another wave of COVID cases, the soaring temperatures, weather fluctuations and rising pollution levels are causing health woes among the residents. Here are a few tips on how to combat the heat and keep the soaring PM 2.5 levels in check.
With increasing temperatures, the risk of food and water contamination increases. Bombay Hospital’s consultant paediatrician Dr Mukesh Sanklecha says, “This time of the year when temperature fluctuations are high, most children contract stomach infection, especially if one is eating out or ordering in, resulting in diarrhoea, vomiting, etc. Also, because of the heat, children often develop skin infection resulting in boils, etc.”
This year, owing to the pandemic, children are staying in, not attending schools, playschools or day-care centres. “This has actually led to lesser cases of respiratory infections, sore throat, cough and cold among children.”
According to Dr Sanklecha, “The best way to keep children safe is to keep them indoors to prevent direct sun exposure and ensure they stay hydrated. Parents should avoid sending children to play outside during peak heat hours.”
And, fluctuating temperatures and rising particulate matter in the air doesn’t affect just children. General Physician Dr Suresh Agrawal says, “During changing seasons, temperature fluctuations are high resulting from increased difference in day and night temperatures. This time, most patients visit doctors complaining of cough, cold or throat infection. And, this is seen among patients of all ages.”
Alibaug-based Interior Designer Kiran Naik feels a lot of heat and pollution-related problems can easily be avoided “just by making improvements at home” with informed interior design tips. “There has been a general rise in temperatures anyway because of global warming. So, by making small changes, one can make living at home easy.”
She suggests, “It’s important for the house to be well ventilated so make sure the house has an open plan and no obstructions to the natural flow of air. Also, if you’re living in a ‘hot’ zone, it’s advisable to avoid wood or vinyl flooring and rather go for cooler materials such as stone, marble, etc. Choosing lighter colours for the walls to deflect the heat and keeping indoor plants also help beat the heat.”