The U.S. territories are notorious for having starkly contrasting weather conditions. Winters could get as cold as -30 degrees and summers as hot as 99 degrees. Last year, several states had just recorded their hottest summer yet.
Hot weather is uncomfortable, and we would do anything to stay away from the sun. Summer is when we wear the most breathable fabrics, drink the most refreshments, and sit in front of the AC for hours. But, what requires more of our concern is our health which could be highly impacted by high temperatures and humidity surrounding us. We also need to look out for our elderly loved ones too, especially those who already have underlying health conditions,
When it gets too hot, and we don’t cool ourselves enough, the more likely we are to get sick. If sweat, our primary cooling mechanism, can’t evaporate due to highly humid conditions, chances are we experience what for machines is called overheating. Our body mass index, blood circulation, whether we take any medications, and our alcohol consumption also play a role in how well our body can cope with the heat.
And because having a sunburn is the least we could ask for this coming summer, more so collapsing in some random place, we would rather care for ourselves and monitor the well-being of our loved ones. Those who are diagnosed with heart disease could even die from the heat; it’s only right to keep their health in check more frequently. To help you do so, here are safety tips that should be followed:
The recommended water intake depends on your weight and gender. An approximate of 4 and 3 liters is recommended for male and female persons respectively, while an ounce of water should be consumed for every pound you weigh, as a rule of thumb. But, during the summer when we sweat more to cool ourselves, and we need to replenish our bodily fluids that have been exhausted, it would be best to drink more than our usual intake and not wait until we get thirsty to drink. Also, in times like these, you should reduce the consumption of diuretics like caffeine that cause more dehydration.
It would be best to stay indoors and a place that is equipped with a central air conditioning system. Aside from keeping you comfortable, air conditioning is the most reliable way you could prevent sickness or, worse, death. While keeping cool with a fan is okay, it is not recommended if the weather gets too hot.
Care for the Skin
Long periods of exposure to the sun and, in turn, to ultraviolet radiation are not good for your skin. The UVB type causes you to have sunburn while the UVA one causes premature skin aging. The third type, UVC, while potentially the most damaging, cannot enter our atmosphere as it is blocked by the ozone.
What’s worth noting is the degree by which you could get burned by UV radiation isn’t determined by the temperature and so, you could get a sunburn even when going out in cloudy weather. Nevertheless, excessive exposure to the sun’s UV rays can damage our skin’s DNA, which could eventually lead to skin cancer.
Remember, tanning is not healthy. If you want to soak up some sunlight as a natural dose of vitamin D, a few minutes will do, not hours. It would be best to incorporate sunscreen application into your skincare routine. This would protect you not just from the UV rays of the sun, but even from those emitted by indoor lights.
In general, it is best to wear lightweight and loose clothing during summers. To add another layer of defense, you can wear UV protection gear like arm sleeves and visors when going out.
Moderate Outdoor Activity
The hottest time of the day falls between 11 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon, so it’s best to schedule activities like exercise or gardening outside the said timeline. Especially if you’re engaging in strenuous activities, it’s important to start slow and gradually increase speed and intensity to prevent heat exhaustion.
Beware of Heat-Related Illness Signs
If you or your loved one develops a rash caused by sweat, immediately seek a cool and well-ventilated area where you can stay. Dehydration, on the other hand, could cause cramps. If this happens, replenish your fluids and, likewise, move somewhere cool.
If you or your loved one exhibits cool skin, a headache, a high pulse rate, fatigue, dizziness, and nausea, you could be experiencing heat exhaustion. If this happens, relocate to a cool place where you could lay down, rehydrate, and cool yourself with an ice pack. Wait for the symptoms to subside and, if these don’t, the person should be rushed to the ER.
One of the worst illnesses a person could get from heat exposure is heat stroke and you would know if he presents confusion, has seizures or faints, and when he stops sweating. In this case, immediate medical help should be sought.
Heat is one thing we should be cautious about during summer. One moment you could feel uncomfortable and heavily ill the next. It’s only right to constantly care for and monitor our and our loved ones’ condition.
Meta title: Guide to Staying Healthy and Safe during Summer
meta desc: While we know summer for being the fun season, it could get too hot for our good. Before any health issues spoil your summer enjoyment, best know these safety tips.