Surviving the Haze Season

Tips to Protect Yourself
  • Hazy skies are back again and it’s important to be mindful of your daily activities especially when you’re out and about.
  • It can be a serious threat to our health, especially to those who suffer from respiratory problems or have a weak body.

Additionally, pregnant woman, young children and the elderly are at higher risk of getting badly affected by the haze.

Here are several tips on how you and your family can protect yourselves this haze season:

1. Be mindful of the Air Pollution Index (API)

Monitor the Air Pollution Index (API) levels at your respective locations. This can help you plan your wandering outdoor activities on that particular day.

Surviving the Haze Season

Air Pollution Index Flowchart. Source: Department of Environment, Malaysia.

2. Stay hydrated

Drink lots and lots of water! This helps flush out toxins absorbed through the skin and lungs. If you’re not an avid fan of water, then the alternative is to increase your intake of fruits and vegetables as both are infused with high water content. Drinking water aids the kidneys when it comes to excreting the toxins caused by the haze.

Surviving the Haze Season

Source: Hunt Regional Medical Partners

3. Keep it indoors

Try to limit your activities indoors as much as you can as any rigorous outdoor activity may require you to inhale deeply. You can still stay fit indoors by doing yoga or working out at your local gym. Another way to keep fit is by downloading workout videos and have fun indoors!

Surviving the Haze Season

Source: Hawa Rizwana

4. Wash, wash and wash!

It is crucial to wash your hands and face regularly, particularly after getting back home. Better still, hit the showers! When outdoors, you are easily exposed to toxins from the haze. Practicing good hygiene helps keep your health in check.

Surviving the Haze Season


5. Ninja-it-up with a respiratory mask!

Now is the perfect time to invest in a good respiratory mask, such as the N95 that can filter out airborne particles. But more importantly, know how to wear a mask properly in order to utilise it to its fullest.

Surviving the Haze Season


Surviving the Haze Season

Source: Ministry of Health Malaysia

6. Quit it

Smokers are advised cut down on smoking. The smoke is adding to the air pollution! In fact, an API reading of 249 is equivalent to smoking 11.3 cigarettes.

7. Close your doors and windows

No matter how stuffy it feels or how desperate you are for ventilation, it is advisable to close all your doors and windows, when the air pollution index is at unhealthy levels. It is better to have a stuffy home than to allow haze particles to invade your home. To minimise the annoying stuffy feeling, switch on the air conditioner  and invest in a good air purifier.

Surviving the Haze Season

8. Keep filters clean

Speaking of air conditioners and purifies, it is equally important to make sure that the filters are cleaned so that it may effectively and constantly trap airborne dirt. The particles that usually get caught by the filters include viruses, bacteria, dust, dust mites, mould, bad gases, and more.

9. Boost the immune system

Try your best to boost your immune system to avoid getting sick. Increase your intake of antioxidants such as Vitamins C and E and Omega-3, which can be found in fruits like oranges, berries, green leafy vegetables, tofu, nuts like almonds, avocados and more. Boosting your immune system, will provide your body the nutrients to fight against the harmful chemical particles triggered by air pollution.

10. See a doctor, ASAP!

If you are suffering from coughs, cold, asthma, sore eyes, or chronic lung infection, pay a visit to your local physician, and seek immediate medical treatment if these conditions worsen.

The what and how on dealing with haze, with insights from Dr Kow of Sunway Medical Centre.


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