4 important tips to help keep cool this summer

January 24, 2017
Here's how you can stay safe from the summer sun.

 

Ah, summer. Who doesn’t love months of endless sunshine, warm weather and outdoor activities? The short answer is no one, of course! Summer can, however, be a relatively dangerous time, especially for senior Australians.

Australia can get extremely hot in the summer, this is no surprise to anyone who has called this continent home. According to ABC News, however, heatwaves have killed more Australians than any other natural hazard. And to top it all off, the number of record hot days has doubled in past half century. But it’s not just the stifling heat that can harm senior health, it’s also the fluctuating temperatures of hot days changing into cool nights that can become an issue.

Seniors are at particular risk as certain chronic conditions like heart disease or diabetes that can increase the risk of furthering complications (sometimes even to the point of death) when temperatures fluctuate as well, explained a study conducted by Harvard School of Public Health.

How can you keep yourself safe from the summer heat? We’ve got four easy to follow tips for you to keep in mind!

Limit your time in the sun and be sure to take frequent shade breaks.

1. Stay out of direct sunlight 

You can still enjoy the warm weather from the comfort of a shady area! If you’re participating in outdoor activities, limit your time in the sun and be sure to take frequent shade breaks. If you’re going to a place that doesn’t have a lot of shade, like a beach or open park, it might be a good idea for you to bring you own shade. Pack an umbrella and you won’t have to worry about leaving the fun.

However, if it’s too hot out, like when the government has issued a public warning, you’ll want to stay indoors with the air conditioning.

2. Dress appropriately

Any time you leave the house, you need to make sure you are dressed appropriately. Sunscreen should be worn at all times, and applied well in advance (about 15 minutes or so) of leaving the house. Once the sunscreen is on, it’s time to get dressed. Aim for light, loose-fitting natural fabrics like cotton, as synthetic fibres tend to trap in the heat. If you can comfortably wear clothing that covers as much skin as possible, you should.

Your face should be protected as well – the sun can do some serious damage here. Hats are a good accessory to have on hand, or rather, on head, especially if you have light coloured hair as this attracts sun. If you already have vision problems, you should definitely be wearing sunglasses when outside as the UV rays will do more damage if your eyes are not covered. If you wear glasses, consider prescription or clip-on lenses.

Cover up as much skin as comfortably possible, and stay in the shade!Cover up as much skin as comfortably possible, and stay in the shade!

3. Stay hydrated 

Ensuring that you stay well hydrated throughout the day is good advice in general, but it’s especially important during the summer. Seniors’ bodies are not as good at regulating temperatures, but body processes run much more smoothly when their systems are hydrated.

4. Understand body distress signals

Your body has its own little ways of telling you that it has had enough of the sun or heat. If you learn these signals, you can get your body the help it needs before anything bad happens. Should you begin to experience any of these symptoms, call for help immediately:

  • Unexplained confusion
  • Dry, but flushed skin (no sweat even when hot out)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Quick pulse
  • Headaches
  • Fainting

For a quality summer and life, you need to be proactive about monitoring your health and wellness. Tunstall Healthcare has a range of connected health and care products to help individuals and their carers manage health conditions. Contact our team to learn more about our products and solutions today, and enjoy the rest of your summer!

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