HomeHealth Safety and EnvironmentHow To Stay Safe, Healthy During Harmattan

    How To Stay Safe, Healthy During Harmattan

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    The dry season is fast approaching as it usually starts in the end of November in many parts of the country.

    Harmattan is characterised by very cold temperatures, especially in the morning and night, and comes with very hot weather in the afternoon.

    The humidity also drops really low and the air is dusty. This means the skin has a tendency to dry up quickly and the wind can be unfriendly to the respiratory system.

    Daily Trust highlights some safety hints to survive during the season.

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    Avoiding dust

    For asthmatic patients, the dusty wind of harmattan can trigger attacks. It is advisable for such individuals to stay away from dusty areas and have their inhalers handy at all times.

    Wearing a nose/face mask is also advisable during this period to avoid direct contact with dust.

    Preventing dry skin

    It is good to always have a lip balm and moisturiser in your bag, pocket or somewhere easily accessible. Apply the balm on your lips and moisturiser on the skin when any of them are starting to get dry.

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    Dress patterns

    In terms of outfit, the weather is usually really hot in the afternoon but get very cold at night. To be on the safe side, wear warm clothes when going to bed at night or when going out in the morning. You can loosen up your clothes as the day heats up.

    Preventing Fire

    Fire outbreaks constitute one of the calamities common at this period of the year. This is because there is dry wind which makes it easy for the fire to spread at the slightest ignition.

    Therefore, you should not leave cooking unattended to, avoid indiscriminate bush burning; storing of inflammable items indoors and keeping gas cylinders indoors.

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    It is also imperative not to allow children to play with fire. All electrical and electronic appliances should be switched off while leaving home, office, shops and other places.

    Procuring first aid fire-fighting equipment at home, office and others, as well as getting fire service emergency phone numbers is also important.

    Mitigating wildfires

    Yearly, plantations and arable farms are destroyed in Nigeria through the activities of hunters, herdsmen, smokers and charcoal producers.

    Farmers should harvest their crops as soon as they are due, especially during the harmattan season, as they easily become fuel for fire while hunters hunt for ‘bush meat.’

    In most cases they willfully set fire on farms. This is usually applicable to the cereal crops like maize, sorghum, millet, etc. They should not be left on the farm to dry up completely in order to reduce the risk exposure.

    Keep barns and yard areas clear of brush and other flammable debris. Move flammable items away from heat sources.

    Driving in fog

    Fog can make driving difficult and even dangerous. Sadly, fog-related accidents cause fatalities each year.

    While driving in fog, leave plenty of distance between your car and the one in front of you. Decreased visibility means longer braking times.

    Moisture and ice on your windshield can create glare, which can make it even more difficult to see. Give yourself the best view possible by clearing off your windshield completely.

    Check your mirrors before slowing down, and gently apply your brakes. The earlier you can start to tap the brakes, the better. Your brake lights will alert drivers behind you that you are slowing down, and you won’t catch them by surprise with a sudden stop.

    Stay home when the fog is bad (if possible). fog can make driving scary and dangerous, so stay off the roads altogether if you can. (Sources: cooperators.ca,)

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