5 health risks to avoid this Summer
This summer, most of us will want to enjoy being out and about in the sunshine. Whether you’re staying in the UK or you’re heading abroad, it’s important to protect yourself against some of the health risks out there this summer.
It can be hard to resist basking in the sunshine – especially when it’s so unusual in the UK! But you should be careful of too much exposure to the sun as sunburn can cause a number of health problems.
Short-term sunburn isn’t usually serious, although the symptoms are pretty unpleasant. The burning sensation can can be extremely uncomfortable, especially at night when you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep.
It’s the long-term effects that you should be concerned about. One of the biggest risks for skin cancer is sun-damaged skin so make sure you take precautions to protect yourself. Invest in a good sunscreen and apply regularly, wear a large sun hat to protect your face and try to avoid spending too much time in the sun when it’s at its peak in the middle of the day.
Dehydration happens when you lose more fluids than you take in and in the summer months, when we tend to sweat more, this can be more common than you think.
The consequences of dehydration can be serious so you’ll need to make sure that you increase your fluid intake, especially if you are exercising or being more physically active than usual.
Thirst isn’t always an indicator of feeling dehydrated so don’t rely on this – make sure you drink plenty even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Having a few drinks on holiday? Alcohol isn’t a great idea when you’re dehydrated – it acts as a diuretic which means you pee more, and more fluids will be lost. Water is usually the best option!
As soon as the hot weather starts then we can expect to see bees, wasps and other insects out in force. Insect bites can be sore and itchy, but in many cases they can cause allergic reactions which for some people could be extremely serious.
Try to avoid bites and stings by avoiding going out at dawn or dusk when insects are more prolific. Use an insect repellant on your skin or if sitting out, try burning citronella candles as these will help to keep the little beasts at bay.
Ticks can be pretty voracious in the summer so you’ll need to be careful of Lyme Disease. You may see a red ring appearing around the bite and you may suffer from flu-like symptoms. If left untreated the symptoms can become much more serious so if you suspect a tick bite it’s always wise to seek medical attention.
Whilst we do get mosquitoes in the UK, they tend not to carry any nasty diseases. In other countries you’ll need to watch out for malaria or zika virus which can have serious consequences. Make sure you seek advice before you travel – some countries will expect you to have vaccinations and you may need to take malaria tablets to help prevent any infection.
Hay fever is a common allergy and when the pollen count is high in the Summer it can be a pretty miserable time for anyone who suffers with it. Whilst hay fever symptoms can be irritating and unpleasant it isn’t serious, however it is also linked to Asthma which can be.
If you have breathing concerns then the summer months could hit you hard, not just with high pollen counts but increased humidity. If you are an asthma sufferer then keep your medication and inhalers replenished and close at hand. Keep an eye on pollen levels and humidity – stay indoors if you need to.
Incidents of food poisoning are far more prevalent over the summer than they are in the winter. Heat and humidity offer the perfect conditions for bacteria to breed and flourish.
Keep your eye on any perishable food you have – this should always be kept refrigerated during warm spells and be extra vigilant when it comes to use by dates.
We all love a barbecue when the sun starts to shine but outdoor dining can make food preparation and handling even more difficult and a different style of cooking doesn’t always go to plan! Make sure all food is cooked through – it’s handy to use a probe thermometer to make sure that all your meat is cooked to the desired temperature and safe to serve.
The above post is intended to be informative but does not constitute advice – financial, legal or otherwise. Any opinions given are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views of So Smart Protect or So Smart Financial Services.