Strategies for the Summer

by Himabindu Venkatakrishnan on  July 14, 2007 at 5:22 PM Environmental Health
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Strategies for the Summer
Summer times are happy times when everyone wants to be outdoors in the open air rather than cooped up inside the house. But being out in the open summer for too long, can take its toll in way of heat strokes and excessive sun exposure. This is warning issued by the Vancouver Island Health Authority.

Heat-related illnesses include heat stroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion. Heat stroke, a form of hyperthermia, is considered the most serious condition and requires immediate medical attention. It happens when the body is unable to regulate its core temperature, the body temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. It is most common in infants, older people, outdoor workers physically exerting themselves in the heat, and those who are unable to leave their homes.

Heat stroke can catch you quite unawares. Familiar symptoms are Hot, red, dry skin, Rapid pulse, Rapid, shallow breathing , Headache, Confusion, untypical behavior , Possible loss of consciousness, temperature can sore up to 41 degrees Celsius or (106 degrees Fahrenheit).

Person affected by the stroke must be given immediate medical attention. The person must be kept in cool and shady place. His clothing's removed and body bathed cool water. The body should be fanned to promote sweating and evaporation.

In order to avoid heat stoke excessive sun exposure must be avoided. Plenty of fluids must be taken in order to avoid dehydration. Indoors must kept cool with curtains.

Sun can do much damage to the skin and body. Use of a good sunscreen is advised to protect the skin from burning and cancer. Always keep children under the age of one out of the sun. Be aware that water, snow, sand and concrete that can reflect up to 85 per cent of the sun's dangerous rays. UVA rays can also penetrate glass (like the windshield of a car). Remember to protect yourself even in cloudy or overcast weather since the sun's rays can penetrate through clouds.

According to the Canadian Dermatology Association, it is estimated over 75,000 Canadians develop skin cancer annually, and the majority of skin cancers are related to sun exposure. 80 per cent of skin cancers occur above the neck.

Skin cancer can be avoided. Minimize Sun and UV Exposure: Avoid using indoor tanning equipment, Watch for any change in a birthmark or a mole that changes shape, color, size or surface; any sore that doesn't heal; or any patch of skin that bleeds, oozes, swells, itches or becomes red and bumpy. If detected early skin cancer can be cured.

The government has also made access information regarding most up-to-date information about the water quality for some of the area's popular swim spots this summer.

When beaches are tested and listed weekly, they will be categorized as either open, or posted. Posted status is given when coli form counts exceed 200 fecal bacteria per 100 milliliters of water and swimming is not recommended by federal regulations and guidelines.

Source: Medindia

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