Summer is almost here and with it comes long sunny days, warm weather and quite a lot of outdoor activities. However, just because the flu season and cold weather is finally over doesn’t mean you can put your health at risk. Summer, too, can present many health hazards and risks with the rising temperature.
Food poisoning, heat related ailments, dehydration and many other seasonal diseases can easily ruin your jolly mood during the summer. The overall heat and dry weather from March to July brings along its own share of ailments. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts over 1 million emergency cases annually due to the scorching heat of summer.
As we slowly move towards warmer days of summer, PharmaLife brings to our readers some medically-proven tips to ensure health and vitality all throughout. We believe with global warming and climate change, summer associated ailments can be more serious. We talk about the common health hazards during summer and how you can beat them with ease.
● Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion: Prolonged exposure of the body to overwhelming heat can easily impair the body’s cooling mechanism. This may lead to an overall rise in body temperature, often termed as hyperthermia. Heat stress and heat exhaustion are the most serious forms of heat related problems, mostly associated with symptoms like headache, nausea, dizziness, etc. However, with proper knowledge, heat stress is preventable.
● Mild to Severe Dehydration: Our body requires enough water to function properly during summer. Drinking any less water can impose dehydration, which may range from mild to severe. Severe dehydration can sometimes be deadly too.
● Food Poisoning: The warmer days of summer actually provide a thriving environment for many bacteria and viruses. These microorganisms can ultimately bring along many gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, food poisoning, vomiting. Proper storage and cooking of food is therefore a must throughout summer.
● Sunburn and Sun-damage: Spending too much time out in the sun, without any protection might do severe damage to our skin. Besides sunburn, wrinkles, spots, and allergies, prolonged exposure to skin can also drastically increase the chances of developing skin cancer. A simple step like applying sunscreen can easily prevent such complications.
● Water-borne diseases: Water related diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera incidence is all time high during the summer. With the rise in temperature, bacteria and viruses can multiply easily leading to many infectious diseases. Cholera outbreak in Nepal accounts for many lives each year during the summer. Drinking properly filtered or purified water may check the spread of these water-borne diseases.
Alongside these serious issues, summer also brings with it flu, common cold, conjunctivitis (infection of the conjunctiva of eye), measles, mumps, etc. Allergic asthmatic attacks and many other allergies are also frequent during these warmer months.
Moreover, in the tropical regions like the Terai diseases like malaria, dengue-fever, and encephalitis are also common. Dengue fever alone accounted for over 5 deaths last year in Nepal. Mosquitoes are usually the vector of these diseases. Further, fungal and parasitic infections are also equally prevalent from March to June/July. In Nepal, dry season often is the cause of household and wildfires, drought, windstorms leading to many injuries and trauma.
With all these diseases, summer might seem rather scary. But, with the right information and knowledge, tackling the heat-related ailments of summer is not that tough. Following the right precautions can help maintain the health and vitality of you and your family. We, at PharmaLife, request you to follow these simple steps to ensure your health this summer:
● Drink plenty of water. In summer, our body loses a lot of water and to replenish this fluid loss, adequate water intake is necessary. Water, and other refreshing fluids like lemon water, coconut water can be an easy way to beat the heat.
● Stay Cool by wearing lightweight clothes. Opting for fabrics like cotton is also preferred. Direct exposure to sunlight should also be avoided.
● Avoid Heavy Meals and Exercises. Seeking shade while outside is also suggested. Avoid eating heavy meals as it may also lead to gastro-intestinal upset during summer. Moreover, doctors do not recommend heavy strenuous exercise during summer as it may lead to heat stress.
● Wear Sunscreen and Insect Repellents. Using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF (Sun Protection Factor)-15 is recommended by doctors. Also, apply mosquito and other insect repellent creams. Using mosquito nets inside homes is also preferred during the summer.
● Consume in-season fruits and vegetables. Summer fruits and vegetables are loaded with anti-oxidants and phyla toxins which ensure vitality. Try incorporating fruits and vegetables like peaches, plums, berries, citrus fruits etc. into your diet.
● Wash your hands frequently. During the summer, bacteria, viruses, and parasites contaminate the environment overwhelmingly. Washing your hands frequently, especially before meals is therefore advised. Daily showers can also prove beneficial during the summer.
● Protect yourself from bugs and bites. Keeping your home clean, keeping shut the windows and doors, wearing closed-toe sandals are some of the easy steps to prevent any bugs and bites. If you do get bitten by any insect seek medical attention immediately.
● Get enough sleep, and follow a healthy lifestyle. Getting enough rest in ventilated rooms can sound like a simple thing. But, it can prevent many diseases during the summer. Try quitting tobacco and alcohol. Engage yourself in light summer exercise to keep your body healthy.
● Drink Oral Rehydration Solution (ORS) if necessary. Even though you follow all these steps, sometimes summer can be unpredictable. If you get any symptoms of heat stress, drink ORS to replenish fluid into your body. You can buy ORS from the nearest PharmaLife pharmacy around you. You may also prepare ORS at home with six level teaspoons (30 gm) of sugar and half level teaspoon (2.5 gm) of salt in one litre water. Stir the mixture well before consuming. If the situation doesn’t get better, medical attention may be required.
All of these useful tips are recommended by doctors and health workers to maintain health during the warm summer days. Besides, vaccination with MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) is also recommended for children at the earliest. Moreover, wearing sunglasses, limiting exposure to direct sunlight, travelling with precaution are some of the other things you should follow.
Now that you are aware of health risks during the summer, and ways to prevent them, make sure you make the most out of this season. Give a boost to your health during the great weather and long warm days. With proper precautions and awareness, summer-related ailments can be easily checked. PharmaLife pharmacies near you will also provide necessary counseling to help you enjoy summer, while being healthy and fit. So, now that you are properly equipped with these tips, we hope you enjoy the summer!