Summer is finally here!Longer days, sunny weather, warm temperatures, lighter clothing, short sleeves, barbecues, picnics... these are things that most of us look forward to when the clock moves forward.
However some factors can affect your health and wellbeing. And even if you are staying in the UK it does not mean you are not at risk. Below are a few precautions we recommend so you can make the most of your summer in pleasant conditions.
Change of temperature – temperatures do not always increase gradually. The change can be brutal from one day to the next so if you are going to be out, make sure you come prepared. Wear short sleeves, comfortable loose clothes, bring a bottle of water, a portable fan, a face mist, sun-block and a hat.
Dehydration – is characterised by a drop below normal levels of water in the body. Healthcare professionals usually recommend drinking 8 glasses of water a day as our body is mainly made of water. In the summer make sure you drink plenty of fluid – non-alcoholic, caffeine-free beverages – to keep your skin and organs hydrated. Also although it is recommended to watch the amount of salt we eat, unless you are on a salt-free diet, try to consume food and drink with sodium and potassium to restore electrolyte balance when losing fluids.
Heat Stroke – is a condition that can lead to death, caused by being too long in a very hot place. So if you can, stay indoors and have your air-cond or cooling fan on, have cool showers and drink plenty of water. If you experience some unusual symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headache, hot skin and body temperature, call the emergency.
Sunburn – a condition in which your skin is sore and red because you have spent too long in the strong heat of the sun so prevent by spreading on the sunscreen. We would recommend a high factor, SPF 30 to 50 based on your skin type. Don’t forget to cover your head / scalp and even wear long sleeve light tops like tunics or kaftans.
Bright light – we would recommend not staring at the sun since permanent retinal damage occurs after staring for just a few minutes. This is called solar retinopathy.
The simplest way to protect against possible retinal light damage is to wear sunglasses and a hat. The sunglasses should have dark tint. A tip to select the right one is to check light coming through the lenses appears grey, brown, or yellowish brown—not blue, which is probably the most damaging light wavelength. UV protection helps protect the lens inside the eye against cataracts. Since UV light is blocked by the lens inside the eye it is the visible light that can harm the retina.
Sore legs – too much heat can affect your blood circulation and cause pain and swelling of the legs. We recommend cold shower especially on the leg, using leg cooling gel often containing menthol, keeping your feet and leg up for a few minutes to increase the blood flow.
Outing – If you still want to go out and enjoy the beautiful weather then rest under the parasol or the shade of a tree or go for a stroll early in the morning or after dinner when the temperature has cooled down. If you are near a pool or the sea, go for a refreshing swim.
Checking on the most vulnerable
Hot weather tends to make us feel more lethargic so if you care for someone make sure you they don’t fall asleep in the sunshine.
Check on your neighbours too especially the elderly, more sensitive to the heat. Help them turn on the air conditioning system and make sure they have bottles of water around their home. And why don’t you invite them to share your barbecue lunch and enjoy some company?