Members of the Muslim Community who are fasting during the month of Ramadan are being advised to take care in hot weather this summer.
With Ramadan falling during the summer months this year Muslims are currently fasting for approximately 17 hours a day, often in high temperatures.
Dehydration is a common and serious risk during hot weather and it’s important to balance food and drink intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water. If you start to feel unwell, disorientated or confused, or collapse or faint, NHS advice is to stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid.
Those fasting should observe the following advice to stay safe in hot temperatures:
- Drinks such as liquorice drinks, date, rose and pomegranate molasses drinks and locust bean drinks are particularly helpful to rehydrate the body.
- Avoid drinking tea at Suhoor (the time before dawn), as tea increases salt excretion in the urine.
- Try to minimize daily exercise
- It is important for people to limit their exposure to the sun and those people who work in the sun must take regular breaks
- Have a shower twice a day to cool and refresh yourself
- Avoid sitting under the sun, there could be a chance of a heat stroke
- If fasting becomes extremely difficult and you faint, pass out or have a blackout, you should start eating and drinking straightaway
- Children are not allowed to fast – fasting is only for those who have reached puberty and are fit enough to fast.
- Any old person who finds it difficult to fast should avoid fasting – one of the clear signs to break your fast is when you have severe dizziness.
It is common for people to have one meal just before sunrise and an evening meal after sunset during Ramadan. During hot weather, this means that dehydration can be a risk.