Soaring temperatures, the smack of hot air as soon as you step outside, and glistening droplets of sweat are all telltale signs that the summer is here. From the end of June until the end of September, residents in the UAE can count on rising temperatures and humidity levels. While it’s tempting to stay tucked away from the heat in the cool temperature controlled comforts of your home or office, you’ll want to get outside from time to time.
We’ve compiled a few tips to help you enjoy a safe and healthy summer.
Avoid Direct Sun Exposure
When it comes to the intense heat of the summer, it’s wise to acclimate and take extra measures to protect your skin from intense UV rays. This is particularly important if you are new to an area with extreme temperatures.
Temperatures peak between 12 pm and 4 pm. Consider scheduling outdoor activities in the early morning or evening hours. When you do head outside, wear light coloured, breathable clothing (such as cotton).
Be sure to take a break from the sun in a cool, shaded area. Whether it’s under a pergola or an umbrella, frequent shade breaks will help cool your body temperature. Above all else, remember to apply sunscreen. While the immediate danger of too much sun exposure is a sunburn, the sun’s most dangerous threat is that it is the primary cause of skin cancer.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), skin cancer is now the most common cancer in the world affecting more than 3 million people globally. Doctors believe that most skin cancers can be prevented by wearing sunscreen, limiting exposure to the sun, and wearing protective clothing.
Sweating is our body’s natural response to cool our core temperature. Evaporation of sweat keeps our skin cool, which in turn helps to cool the entire body. Drinking water helps to replenish the fluids lost during excessive sweating.
So how do you know if you are dehydrated? Even before you become dehydrated, you will feel thirsty, and your mouth may feel sticky or dry. If you do not drink plenty of water, you may become lethargic and dizzy. Other signs of dehydration include reduced urine output or dark yellow urine. Studies indicate that even mild dehydration can reduce cognitive ability and physical coordination. So be sure to drink plenty of fluids before you head out in the summer heat, and keep drinking throughout the day.
Recognize Heat Stress
Heat stress includes a series of conditions where the body is under stress from overheating. Heat-related illnesses include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke.
While heat cramps are the least serious of the conditions, when left untreated they will worsen. Symptoms associated with heat cramps include heavy perspiration, thirst, fatigue, and painful muscle cramps. When our body reaches an internal temperature above 38°C we may experience heat exhaustion.
A person suffering from heat exhaustion may experience symptoms similar to heat cramps. Additionally, they may experience increased sweating, fatigue, weakness, restlessness, reduced coordination, a mild or a severe headache, vomiting, dizziness, or a weak but rapid pulse.
When left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to a life-threatening heat stroke. As with the other conditions, symptoms include a headache, dizziness and nausea. However, with a heat stroke, the skin is not cold and clammy. Instead, it is hot and dry, as the body has used all its water to create sweat to naturally cool itself.
In case of a heat stroke, you should seek immediate medical assistance. While waiting for first responders, the heat stroke victim should be stripped of excess layers of clothing and cooled down by applying cool water. If the victim is conscious, they can sip water.
Summer fun usually involves taking a cold, refreshing swim in the pool! According to WHO, accidental drowning is among the ten leading causes of death for children and young people claiming the lives of more than 372,000 people worldwide every year.
When you are in the area of a pool, never take your eyes off your children or allow them to swim unattended. Once your child has learned to float on their back and swim long distance, they won’t necessarily need you right next to them. However, regardless of their age, they should always be within your sight.
It’s always smart to prepare your child for swimming by signing them up for swimming lessons. Not only will they learn to swim, but they will also learn safety rules. Common pool safety rules include no running, no diving in shallow areas, no pushing or shoving, no pulling others under water, and no swimming without adult supervision.
At HSS, we offer Emergency First Aid and Advanced First Aid training courses in accordance with the Health and Safety laws. Our first aid courses provide hands-on training to ensure all participants are competent in administering the treatment and care necessary to save lives in the event of a medical emergency.
Whether you require Paediatric First Aid Training, Workplace First Aid Training, or you are a nanny or caregiver seeking first aid training, we have a program to help you stay safe in the event of a medical emergency this summer. We also do lifeguard training, so if the apartment, community or public pool you and your family are attending does not have a lifeguard, let us know and we will contact the facilities management and make sure they put trained lifeguards there.
Contact us today to learn more about our first aid training courses.