Summer is a vibrant season of beach vacations, outdoor adventures, and backyard barbecues. But it’s also a time when specific health concerns arise due to increased temperatures and outdoor activities. As health professionals, we’re here to guide you on these top summer health issues and how to prevent them.
The intense summer heat often brings about conditions like heat exhaustion, heatstroke, and dehydration. Here’s how you can keep them at bay.
Recognize the Signs
Heat exhaustion signs include heavy sweating, rapid pulse, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and dizziness. Heatstroke, a more serious condition, may present with altered mental state, high body temperature or behavior, flushed skin, rapid breathing, and headache.
- Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids to replenish the water your body loses through sweat.
- Wear Appropriate Clothing: Light-colored, lightweight, and loose clothes help keep your body cool.
- Avoid Peak Sun Hours: Stay indoors between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun is at its peak.
Sunburn and Skin Damage
The Dangers of UV Rays
Overexposure to the sun’s harmful UV rays can cause sunburns, skin aging, and even skin cancer.
- Sunscreen Use: Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30.
- Wear Protective Clothing: This includes wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and long-sleeved clothes.
- Seek Shade: During midday hours when the sun’s rays are strongest seek shade.
Summers are synonymous with swimming and water sports, leading to an increase in water-related accidents and drownings.
- Supervise Children: Always keep an eye on children around water bodies, even if they can swim.
- Use Safety Equipment: This includes life jackets, floatation devices, and pool fences.
- Learn CPR: In emergencies, CPR skills can save lives.
Summer picnics and BBQs, unfortunately, see a rise in foodborne illnesses due to improper food handling.
Food Safety Rules
- Cook Thoroughly: Ensure your meat is cooked at the right temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
- Store Properly: Keep perishables refrigerated and don’t leave food out for long in the heat.
- Practice Good Hygiene: Wash hands and surfaces often when preparing food.
Summer months can exacerbate allergies due to increased pollen and air pollution.
- Know Your Triggers: Identify what triggers your allergies and take steps to avoid exposure.
- Stay Indoors: On days when pollen or pollution levels are high, it’s best to stay indoors.
- Take Medication: Over-the-counter or prescribed allergy medication can help manage symptoms.
By understanding these top summer health concerns and following our preventive measures, you can ensure a safer, healthier summer. It’s important to be mindful of these risks as you plan your activities, ensuring you can enjoy the season to the fullest while staying safe.