For many men and women, summer is the best time of the year. After a long cold summer and a rainy spring, the weather is finally hot and dry, and there is ample time to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. Summer is a time of beach trips, long drives and endless fun, but it is important for women to protect themselves from the hazards this special time of year can create.
Women in particular face a number of health challenges when the weather warms up, and taking a few steps now can protect them all season long. Here are the top 5 summer health tips for women of all ages.
#1. Mosquito-Borne Illnesses
Mosquito bites have always been painful, but these days they can put your health at risk. Mosquitoes have always been vectors for disease, but the seriousness of those diseases, and their prevalence, have both increased in recent years.
The West Nile Virus has long been a problem for women in the summer months, but last year the even more serious Zika Virus joined the fray. The Zika Virus is a particular threat for pregnant women, since it can create serious birth defects in the unborn fetus. Women can protect themselves by removing standing water, wearing repellant and staying indoors during dawn and dusk, when mosquitoes are most active.
A single serious sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer, and women need to take steps to protect themselves. Avoiding excess sun exposure does not have to be difficult, and a few common sense precautions can provide serious protection.
Wearing sunscreen when going outdoors is a good start, but that sunscreen should be reapplied frequently throughout the day. A sun hat can help as well, as can taking frequent breaks indoors when the weather gets too warm.
#3. Heat Stroke
Heat stroke is more than simply feeling overheated – it is a serious medical condition. If you begin to feel faint, stop sweating or become lightheaded, you need to seek medical help as soon as possible.
Women can protect themselves by limiting physical activity during the hottest part of the day, and by drinking lots of water. Staying hydrated is very important, as is seeking a cooler place when the temperatures start to soar.
#4. Bee Stings
For women who are allergic, a single bee sting can be a life-threatening event. Even for those who are not allergic, a bee sting can be painful, and multiple stings can threaten their health and well-being.
Bees are attracted to sweet and floral scents, so avoiding certain perfumes can be very effective. Checking your property for bee hives and calling an exterminator to remove them can further enhance your safety in the outdoors. If you are allergic to bee stings, be sure to carry an Epi pen with you whenever you go outdoors – it just might save your life.
Dehydration can sneak up on you slowly, and before you know it, you could be seriously dehydrated. Dehydration can happen at any time of year, but it is more common in the hot summer months, when sweating and physical activity can drain the water from our bodies.
Women can protect themselves from dehydration by drinking plenty of fresh clear water. Carrying a water bottle with you when you go outside is a good practice, as is avoiding soft drinks, coffee and other caffeinated beverages. These caffeinated beverages can actually lead to dehydration, so stick to pure water instead.
Winter is a wonderful time of year, but it should be a safe one too. Once you know the hazards the summer season can bring, you can take steps to protect yourself and your good health.