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Summer has arrived, bringing with it potential health risks. While warmer weather and longer days allow for outdoor fun, it’s crucial to be aware of the dangers that high temperatures can pose. From heat-related illnesses to foodborne infections, being informed about these issues is key to staying healthy in the summer months. It is common to experience heat-related illnesses like exhaustion and heatstroke due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures and humidity. 

Dehydration, heat cramps, and other serious health issues can arise from these conditions. It is important to stay hydrated, seek cooler environments, and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day to prevent these issues. Dr Vishal Sehgal, President, Portea Medical lists the key health concerns to watch out for:

Sunburn and skin cancer

During the summer months, it is important to be cautious of the sun’s harmful rays, as they can cause sunburn and increase the risk of skin cancer. To protect yourself, make sure to apply sunscreen with a high SPF, wear protective clothing and sunglasses, and stay in the shade during the times when the sun is at its strongest. This can help prevent premature ageing of the skin and reduce the likelihood of developing skin cancer, including melanoma.

Foodborne illnesses

As the weather warms up, it’s natural to want to enjoy summer gatherings and picnics. However, it’s important to be cautious about the risk of foodborne illnesses. Bacteria thrive in warmer temperatures, especially in perishable foods, which can result in food poisoning. To stay safe, make sure to handle, store, and cook food properly. Cook meats thoroughly and keep perishable items refrigerated to prevent any health risks.

Insect bites and vector-borne diseases

During summer, insects like mosquitoes and ticks can transmit diseases like malaria and dengue through their bites. To lower the chances of getting sick from insect bites, it’s important to use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants outside, and stay away from places with lots of bugs, like standing water.

Dehydration and electrolyte imbalance

As temperatures rise, there is a higher chance of becoming dehydrated and experiencing an imbalance in electrolytes. Sweating excessively can result in the loss of fluids and electrolytes, which may lead to symptoms like tiredness, lightheadedness, and muscle cramps. It is important to drink enough water every day to keep your body hydrated. Additionally, you can incorporate electrolyte-rich foods and drinks into your diet, such as coconut water.

Allergies and respiratory issues

During the summer, allergies caused by pollen, mold spores, and air pollution can worsen respiratory problems like asthma and hay fever. High ozone levels and increased air pollution in the summer can also make respiratory conditions worse. If you have allergies or respiratory issues, it’s important to protect yourself by staying inside when pollen levels are high, using air purifiers, and taking your medication as prescribed.



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