Keep yourself cool in hot weather.

Habitomic Journalist
Habitomic Journalist

 High temperatures kill hundreds of people every year. Heat-related deaths and illnesses are preventable, but they can make your body more vulnerable to different types of diseases and certain health guidelines must be followed to ensure a healthy summer.

 Common summer diseases

Summer brings in a host of health problems that range from simple ones like a headache, skin rashes, sunburns, etc. to severe ones like measles, jaundice, and more. You must take necessary preventive measures against summer diseases.

  • Sunburn

Some of the symptoms of sunburn include red or reddish skin, mild dizziness, and fatigue. To protect yourself from sunburn, apply a sunscreen lotion on the exposed areas of your body for 20 minutes before heading out in the sun.

  • Heat stroke

Heat stroke is another common summer disease, which if left untreated can be fatal. Some of the symptoms of heat strokes include difficulty in breathing, rapid pulse, high body temperature, confusion, etc.

  • Prickly heat

Prickly heat refers to red rashes that occur due to an excess of humidity and heat. Prickly heat may be caused by clogging of the sweat glands. You can relieve prickly heat by applying prickly heat powder on areas that show signs of prickly heat.

  • Food poisoning

Owing to excessive heat in summer, the food can spoil quickly. To prevent the risk of food poisoning, put the leftover food inside the refrigerator. Food must be well-cooked to ensure that it doesn’t get spoiled.

  • Diarrhea

Because food gets spoilt quickly, diarrhea is common in summer. Eating contaminated food and unsafe drinking habits can lead to diarrhea. To keep away from diarrhea, make sure that you drink water only after boiling it and wash vegetables thoroughly before and after slicing them.

  • Skin Rashes

During summers, skin rash is a common skin problem among children and adults. This typically happens when an individual sweats too much. Bathe often, change your clothes often and avoid wearing tight clothes.

  • Chickenpox

Chickenpox makes one of the most common summer diseases. It starts in the form of fluid-filled, red, and small rashes accompanied by high fever. This is common in children and people with low immunity and is highly contagious.

  • Measles

Measles is yet another common summer disease. The paramyxovirus which causes measles breeds faster during the summers. Its initial symptoms are cough, high fever, sore throat, and reddening of eyes. At a later stage, the tiny white spots and measles rash appear all over the body.

  • Jaundice

Jaundice is a common water-borne disease. It can be a result of Hepatitis A and is mainly caused due to the consumption of contaminated food and water. If not treated on time, this disease can affect the functionality of the liver leading to overproduction of bile.

  • Mumps

Of all summer diseases, mumps is another extremely contagious viral disease that affects children. It is contagious and gets transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Some of the visible symptoms include swollen salivary gland, muscle ache, fever, headache, loss of appetite, and weakness.

Tips for staying safe from the heat in summer

The primary reason behind the outbreak of diseases in summer is the presence of favorable weather conditions for bacteria, viruses, and other parasites to breed. Take prevention steps and protect your and your family’s health in the summer.

Here are a few tips to stay healthy in the summer:

1. Eat healthy and light

Eat light, small, frequent meals. Heavy meals with large amounts of carbohydrates and fats give rise to a lot of heat in the body. Focus on fresh fruits and vegetables that have high water content – such as oranges, watermelon, tomatoes, etc.

2. Avoid alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol, fizzy drinks, and coffee all can leave you dehydrated quickly. If at all possible, try to reduce the amount of these favorite beverages, especially during hot weather. Plain or flavored water is a good substitute.

3. Drink plenty of water

Feeling thirsty means the body is already 15% dehydrated.

Water is the best drink. Drink lots of water before, during, and after an event because, the body loses more fluid through sweating.

Heat and sweat in the summer months can leave your body dehydrated, causing unwanted health outcomes such as fever and chills. Keep yourself well hydrated by drinking at least 2 to 3 liters of water every day. Additional replacement of electrolytes is not needed as the diet is usually salty enough.

You can use the Habitomic app to remind you to drink water.

4. Stay indoors

Restrict outdoor activities to the cooler parts of the day – early mornings before 11. am or late evenings after 5.00 pm.

5. Wear sunscreen

Too much sun can cause skin cancer. Most skin cancers are caused by too much exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light.

Apply a good waterproof sunscreen to all exposed parts of your body and reapply it every three to four hours to ensure that your skin remains protected.

6. Wear proper clothes

Wear light thin cotton clothes to keep the body cool. Wear all-natural fabrics. The natural fibers will allow the skin to breathe and wick out moisture.

When possible, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and skirts, which can protect you from UV rays. If wearing this type of clothing isn’t practical, try to wear a T-shirt or a beach cover-up. Apply sandals over the body and perfumes to keep the body cool and pleasant.

7. Use an umbrella or hat

For the most protection, wear a hat that has a brim around that shades your face, ears, and the back of your neck. A tightly woven fabric, such as canvas, works best to protect your skin from UV rays. Avoid straw hats with holes that let sunlight through. A darker hat may offer more UV protection.

8. Wear sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and reduce the risk of cataracts. They also protect the tender skin around your eyes from sun exposure. Sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays offer the best protection.

9. Monitor your urine every time

Monitor the frequency, quantity, and color of urine every time and make sure to urinate around 300-500 ml in 2-3 hours and its color should be clear yellow. The dark yellow or, orange color indicates that the body needs fluids immediately.

Some precautions in summer

  • Avoid wearing synthetic fibers as they retain moisture and don’t allow the skin to breathe, so the body gets more heat.
  • When it is extremely hot and humid, restrict your activity as much as possible.
  • Do not go out in the direct sun.
  • Avoid extensive physical activity.
  • Do not send children or pets out in the sun or leave them in closed vehicles.
  • Avoid wearing dark, heavy, or tight clothes
  • Avoid cooking during peak heat hours. If it is necessary to cook, then, open doors & windows to ventilate the cooking area. Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house hotter
  • The pungent, spicy, salty, and sour foods which produce too much heat in the body, must be avoided.
  • No alcohol or wine is taken in the summer months can cause weight loss, flabbiness of the body, acidity

In summary, everyone should take these steps to prevent heat-related illnesses, injuries, and death during hot weather:

  • Stay in an air-conditioned indoor location as much as you can.
  • Drink plenty of fluids even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Schedule outdoor activities carefully.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing and sunscreen.
  • Take cool showers or baths to cool down.
  • Never leave children or pets in cars.
  • Check the local news for health and safety updates.