Luckily, Pharmacy Outlet’s Superintendent Pharmacist Hitesh Dodhia is on hand to provide you with his five top healthcare tips for the summer months.
- Cream up – LOTS
First and foremost, it’s essential that adults and children apply sun protection to defend against the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. While sunlight helps us to produce the mood-enhancing hormone serotonin, sunburn is both uncomfortable and dangerous, potentially increasing your risk of skin cancer. Regularly applying sun protection while outdoors during the summer months is an absolute must – and always ensure your sun protection is within its use-by date!
- Don’t miss a spot
Another important point when applying sun protection: it’s easy to focus on the main exposed areas such as the face, neck and arms. However, be sure to cover more sensitive (and often forgotten about) body parts, such as your eyelids, lips and ears. These thin areas of skin can easily burn so they require extra care.
- Stay hydrated at all costs
It is imperative that you keep yourself well hydrated when the weather’s hot – not only does it help with sunburn (not that this should be an issue after our first two tips), but it also prevents headaches, improves sporting performance and keeps your energy levels high. It is advisable to drink between 10 and 12 glasses of water every day, but in summer you should consume between 16 and 18. Also bear in mind that if you are exercising, drinking alcohol or eating salty food, your body will require more H20! It is wise to carry a water bottle with you while out and about; rehydration tablets or powders are also useful ways of getting water, salts and minerals back into your body if you become dehydrated.
- Watch out for insects
Spending more time outdoors – particularly when surrounded by ice creams, picnics and sugary drinks – will inevitably mean more encounters with insects. Whether in the UK or abroad, it is likely that you will come across a vast number of mosquitos, ants, wasps and bees this summer, so we would advise keeping insect repellent handy to avoid any unwanted bites or stings.
- Avoid culinary nightmares
Summer is synonymous with BBQs and picnics, but these forms of al fresco dining also bring potential health hazards. In the rush to serve up the first batch of hot dogs, it is easy to undercook meat products – this in turn can lead to food poisoning, vomiting or diarrhoea. Likewise, when taking a picnic full of fresh produce out for a day in the sun, it is easy for different food types to go bad; again, these can lead to having an upset stomach, thereby scuppering the day’s plans. Our advice is to always take extra care when preparing and cooking food on the BBQ, while cooler bags and ice packs are highly recommended for picnic goers.