As the winter begins to deepen, the sights of wide open doors and windows change to a warmly glowing sight of closed and curtained windows and doors which open to a whiff of warm heaters. Winters are also the season where the amount of cold drinks and water stored in refrigerators goes down to a bare minimum, because the amount of water we drink is reduced drastically. Both of these habits can be very dangerous, say experts. The former could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning, and the latter to dehydration.
While it is widely noted that the amount of water we drink in winter is vastly decreased, the point we all seem to miss is that in winter, the air around us is much drier than in summers. Because of the plummeting temperatures, one may assume that the body does not need as much water as in summers, but says Dr. Ratna Dubey, Dietician and Nutritionist, “that is not true.” “Don’t wait till you feel thirsty to drink water,” she advises, “just drink your regular eight to ten glasses a day in order to stay healthy.”
One of the ways of telling that the body needs water is by the colour of urine. Urine that is almost clear is indicative of the body getting enough water; but dark or deep amber coloured urine s indicative of not drinking enough water.
It is common knowledge that in the winter, the numbers of gas heaters, oil-burning furnaces, portable generators, stoves and heating lanterns being used goes up. In order to keep our homes warm, one or several of the aforementioned appliances are used. Coupled with the tightly shut doors and windows, they can prove extremely dangerous. This is because when such appliances burn, they produce a colourless odourless (and consequently unidentifiable) gas called carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide, if inhaled instead of oxygen can lead to fatal consequences. In order to safeguard against such a hazard, it is important to keep homes well ventilated, and to ensure that no wood, charcoal or gas fires are lit in unventilated rooms or even outside near open windows (so that the fumes don’t go inside).
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