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Summer is officially here!
With endless outdoor activities to enjoy — hiking, camping, barbecuing and more — this season is about fun and family time, and we want to help you make the best of it!
As you increase your appetite for adventure, make sure you “get smart” about summer’s increased health risks that are intensified by the summer heat — like these four — and be ready with solutions to help protect the whole family…
- Heat stroke: Heat stroke is very dangerous, especially for children. It is caused when the body temperature is drastically elevated without time to acclimate; Extreme dehydration also plays a role. If you notice that you or your child are very “out of it”, dizzy, or exhausted and unable to focus in intense heat, or if nausea or vomiting is present, get to the emergency room for treatment. A saline IV can save lives. It’s best to prevent heat stroke altogether by staying out of intense heat; resting rather than participating in intense activity during extreme heat, and keeping well hydrated with electrolyte fluids containing sodium, potassium and magnesium.
- Dehydration: Most of us don’t drink enough water normally, and during intense heat, dehydration can be potentially deadly, again especially for children. It’s particularly dangerous in dry climates because sweat evaporates so quickly you may not even notice that you are losing a large amount of fluids as well as electrolytes Symptoms can be like heat stroke. After a certain point, however, there’s only so much that oral hydration can do if the dehydration is extreme. In these cases, a saline IV is needed to adequately rehydrate. Extreme dehydration and heat stroke are both medical emergencies and can be life threatening if not treated promptly. Children and elders are particularly susceptible to both heat stroke and dehydration.
- Sunburn and the truth about SPF: Repeated sunburn may be the biggest health risk. Despite the known risks of skin cancer many still want to tan in the sun, which increases chances of developing skin cancer. However, many commercial sunscreens also contain ingredients that have been linked to cancer and hormone imbalances. Use natural sunscreens with ingredients like the old standby, zinc oxide, and don’t be fooled by high SPF protection — many experts question these ratings. For example SPF 30 may only provide 5 percent greater protection than SPF 15. Heat and inflammation from the burn can be treated topically with arnica gel, and systemically with foods and botanicals such as fresh vegetables, mint, honeysuckle and others.
- Heat. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, heat is an “excess” that injures your bodily fluids, your mind and your body. And it’s at a fever pitch in the summer! The combination of hotter temperatures with our summer indulgences — more snack and fast foods, more barbecued meats, more strenuous exercise, and more extended sun exposures — creates more “heat” internally in the form of increased oxidative stress and free radical production. These harmful byproducts can damage your cells.
We can protect ourselves during this season by incorporating specific nutrients and herbs into our daily regimen. An excellent addition is Padma Basic®, a Tibetan herbal formula designed with the intent to cool internal heat and promote healthy circulation.
Traveling creates its own set of stressors, including increased exposures to new environments, crowded venues, as well as restaurant fare. Padma Basic has protective value in these situations as well.
Staying smart with a few health precautions can help ensure we get the most out of the season of fun in the sun!