Summer can be a time for rest, excitement, and long days of outdoor fun, but it also ushers in some seasonal health risks. Taking simple precautions can keep these at bay and make summer more enjoyable and safe.
It is that time of the year when one has more worries than just sweating out and coping with the heat through the summer months. With mercury levels soaring to set new highs, come the usual health threats of heat strokes, sunburns and dehydration. So this summer gear up and be better prepared to guard against some of these nagging health problems. Little care and precaution is all it takes. Here’s our guide to help you keep healthy this summer.
Heat stroke is a severe form of hyperthermia and is caused due to excessive absorption of heat by the body. A highly common phenomenon during the summers, heat stroke can increase the body temperature to 40°C. With rise in body temperature, nausea, vomiting and headaches occur frequently. All these are possible signs of a person suffering from a heat stroke. A person suffering from a heat stroke must be immediately taken to a cool place, excess clothing removed and efforts need to be made cool the person down by spraying cold water or placing them in a tub of cold water.
How to Avoid Heat Stroke
Wear clothes which are light in weight and fit loosely so that there’s enough air circulation. Drinking plenty of fluids is a must for everyone during the summers to keep the body hydrated and allow it to maintain a normal temperature. Those who work outdoors should drink fluids frequently and rest in cool spots at intervals. Plums, coriander and mint leaf juice and aloe Vera juice helps in the prevention of heat stroke.
Knowing about dehydration symptoms and having healthy hydration habits can help you avoid a problem. Common symptoms of dehydration are feeling thirsty, producing darker urine, feeling tired or weak, headaches, and muscle cramps. Reference our chart for more signs of dehydration, and information about what to do if you or someone in your care is experiencing dehydration symptoms.
To help promote more mindful hydration habits, track your water intake, know how much water to drink, and be more vigilant about drinking water in hot weather or during vigorous exercise.
Dehydration symptoms in infants and young kids
Infants and young children are more susceptible to dehydration than adults. One reason is physiological. In general, kids lose more water through their skin, because they have a greater surface-to-volume ratio (in other words, their body is made up of more water, so they can lose it faster than grown ups). Kids’ urine is often more diluted, too, which means they pass water through their bodies more quickly than adults. But the most likely cause of dehydration in young children is severe diarrhea and vomiting. If a little one is sick, consult with a medical provider who can advise on a plan to replace lost fluids. Learn more about why water is so important for kids.
Symptoms of dehydration in infants and young kids may look different than the symptoms in adults. Keep an eye out for dry diapers or less frequent trips to the bathroom, crying without making tears, unusual fatigue, dry mouth with a sticky tongue, or a high fever. These can be symptoms of severe dehydration. Always call your doctor immediately if something doesn’t seem right.
Keeping kids hydrated can be a challenge for parents and caregivers. Many young kids have trouble recognizing and communicating the sensation of thirst. They rely on you–the parents or caregivers–for meeting their hydration needs by prompting fluid consumption throughout the day.
Heat exhaustion in sweltering weather may cause a person to have the following symptoms:
- cool, moist skin with goose bumps when in the heat
- heavy sweating
- dizziness, nausea, and headache
- weak, rapid pulse, and low blood pressure on standing
- muscle cramps
Anyone experiencing heat exhaustion must stop and rest, shelter out of the sun and in a cool place, and drink plenty of water or sports drinks.
If left untreated, heat exhaustion can progress to heatstroke, a condition that can be fatal.
The following can help reduce the risk Trusted Source of heat exhaustion and heatstroke:
- wearing lightweight clothing
- avoiding direct sunlight
- using air conditioning
- drinking plenty of water
- avoiding heavy meals
Seizures can occur if a person’s body does not have enough of the chemical’s scientists call electrolytes.
Electrolytes send electrical signals between cells. When electrolyte levels become too low, these signals do not work correctly. An electrolyte imbalance can lead to the involuntary muscle contractions that occur with seizures.
Cerebral edema might also occur when a person drinks after being dehydrated.
The body sends water to the cells after it enters the digestive system. However, this reaction can send too much, causing cells to swell and rupture. If this occurs in the brain, it can be extremely dangerous.
When people are exercising, it is sensible always to carry a drinking bottle with water. Rehydration fluids are available from drugstores and pharmacies. There is also a wide range available to purchase online.
People can check any instructions before using rehydration fluids and ask a doctor to recommend a safe and suitable rehydration fluid for their needs
Sunburns are red, swollen patches of skin caused due to excessive exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun. Sunburns can be mild or severe, depending on the duration of exposure to the sun. Sunburns should not be taken lightly, as it is a serious factor for skin cancer. Sunburns can be identified by severely reddened and swollen skin and pain in the affected area. In cases of severe sunburn there are symptoms of fever, chills, nausea and vomiting in the patient.
How to Avoid Sunburn
Sunscreens or sun blocks available commercially can be used to avoid the body from getting exposed to harmful UV rays of sunlight. Apply these 15 to 30 minutes before exposure to the sun to avoid sunburns.
Prickly Heat Rash
Prickly heat is an itchy and painful combination of body rashes developed due to excessive sweating and blockage of sweat glands. Prickly heat rashes are common among people who sweat a lot and in children whose sweat glands are not yet developed properly. Prickly heat rashes can interfere with the body’s heat regulating mechanism and cause severe exhaustion.
How to Avoid Prickly Heat Rash
To avoid prickly heat rashes, it is advisable to avoid excessive sweating. Hot, humid environments and strenuous physical activities should be avoided. Shower often and apply talcum powder to keep the skin dry, and wear loose clothes made out of cotton.
To conclude, staying healthy during the hot summer weather while still having plenty of fun requires only careful preparation and awareness.
People only have to remember to stay safe in the sunshine, stay hydrated, and keep bite-free whenever possible.