The biggest indicator of the summer season is the noticeable increase in temperature. Under normal circumstances, beach trips, playing sports, and other outdoor activities become the focus of summertime preparations. However, it is crucial to be mindful of the possible impact the heat can have on one’s health.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA) stated that the country does not experience the summer season. Rather, the Philippines has two seasons: rainy season (from June to November) and dry season (from December to May). What Filipinos have been referring to as “summer” is the dry season, but people have become so accustomed to using the mislabel that it soon became an acceptable alternative.
To best take advantage of the season without worry, it is crucial to identify these possible health risks and take the appropriate precautions to avoid them.
Common Health Issues During Summer
- Heat rash
- Insect bites
- Food poisoning
How to Stay Healthy at Home During Summer
While Community Quarantine may be ongoing, the risk of encountering these summer health issues is not completely gone. Here are some precautions to take to minimize this risk as much as possible:
1. Drink more water
To aid the body in its cooling process, staying hydrated is essential. Aside from drinking more water, it is advisable to opt for drinks with electrolytes when exercising or doing strenuous activities in the heat. Eating food with high water content such as fruits and vegetables can also help with hydration.
2. Keep food clean and healthy
Eating a well-balanced diet is important to keep the body’s immune system in peak condition. Aside from avoiding salty and processed food, ensure that wet ingredients and perishable goods are stored properly to prevent spoilage. Throw out leftovers that have been sitting in the open for more than two hours.
3. Start getting active
Regular exercise is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. As much as possible, try to limit any exercise or physical activity to indoors or under adequate shade. Make sure to schedule workouts during cooler hours—either earlier in the day or towards nighttime—to avoid the worst of the summer heat.
4. Wear light clothing
It is crucial to keep the body cool and well-ventilated to prevent heat from building up. Light-colored, loose-fitting garments help air circulate better and reflect heat rather than absorb it. Clothes made of breathable materials like cotton are preferable over synthetic fabrics, which can weigh the body down and create unnecessary warmth.
5. Practice good hygiene
One of the best ways to manage body temperature is by taking a cold shower, especially after coming from outside. Not only is the body cooled, but the risk of possible exposure to bacteria and other contaminants is also mitigated. Meanwhile, regular and frequent hand washing and disinfection of eating and cooking utensils, including spaces, can prevent food contamination.
6. Protect against UV rays
Ultraviolet rays of the sun can cause harmful effects on the body. Stay out of the sun as much as possible, and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 when going out. Additionally, wear clothes to cover the skin, and consider using a light, wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to protect the head and eyes from exposure to the sun.
7. Stay indoors
While going outside may seem like a good idea once the quarantine is lifted, minimizing exposure to the outdoors can make all the difference in staying safe during the dry months. Make sure to plan necessary trips during cooler hours and avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. Consider patronizing indoor-friendly alternatives to running errands outside.
8. See a health professional
Amidst all the current health concerns, scheduling an executive check up with a doctor or health professional will ensure that any developing health problems are addressed before they have a chance to become more severe.
Stay Healthy and Beat the Heat
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Knowing what risks to avoid—namely, the effects of exposure to sunlight and excessive heat—makes all the difference in planning both leisure and essential activities during the summer months.
From general health concerns to treatment for allergic reactions, Makati Medical Center offers professional health services during this summer season.