(It Happens To All Of Us)
Staying Healthy in the Heat
With summer upon us, the days are getting longer and warmer. For many people, it is the most enjoyable season of the year. During the summer months, we should all be thinking of ways to maintain our health in the heat.
As we age, this issue becomes even more important. Older people are more sensitive to sun, heat and humidity. Dehydration, heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be life threatening. Consequently, taking steps to maintain adequate hydration and prevent overheating of the body is important. Hopefully, the following tips will help to ensure a happy, healthy summer for everyone.
Drink plenty of water. This is an important step because your body requires water to prevent dehydration during warm summer days.
Keep informed daily of the air quality reports especially if you have asthma or other respiratory problems. Also, don’t forget to bring your inhaler or other medication with you when you go out.
Rest or take a nap when you feel fatigued. Do not push yourself beyond your physical limits.
Wear sunscreen. Overexposure to the sun is unhealthy and may lead to skin cancer. Choose a screening product that is right for your skin and has a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or higher. Apply as directed even on cloudy days. Be aware that certain medications may increase your sensitivity to sunlight. Your pharmacist can provide you with this information.
Wear sunglasses. Select glasses that have at least 99% protection against the sun’s UVA/UVB rays which can damage your eyes.
Eat a well-balanced diet. Maintain your energy level by limiting your intake of fat and sugar; focus on carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables.
Before leaving on vacation, pack a few items (calamine lotion, baking soda, e.g.) that will help with itchy or painful insect bites.
Be informed about plants that will be pollinating in your vacation area if you have allergies and plan to be traveling. Include your allergy medications when you prepare the medications for your trip.
Know your body. If you are feeling ill, see a doctor.
Wishing you a healthy, happy summer,
Carol McKee, R.N.
Farrar Home Administrator