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Proper precautions can protect you from summer health risks
After the chilly winters, the warmth of summer is always welcomed. But, like the winters, the summer season too brings its own set of health problems. Some of the common health problems in summer include heat exhaustion, heatstroke, dehydration and food poisoning. But, these problems are preventable if proper precautions are taken.

Heat exhaustion is a milder form of heat-related illness in which the body temperature is between 37°C and 40°C. The symptoms include dizziness, thirst, weakness, headache and malaise. Treatment is by prompt cooling and hydration with water or rehydration drinks.

Without prompt treatment, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a life-threatening condition. The body temperature is above 40°C, which can damage the functioning of the internal organs of the body. Patients of heat stroke have high body temperature, dry and hot skin, dehydration, confusion, rapid and weak pulse, short-rapid breathing; they may even be unconsciousness. To prevent heatstroke, limit outdoor activities especially during hottest part of the day. Drink plenty of water and juices to keep the body well-hydrated. Wear loose fitting and light colored clothes.

Food poisoning is common during summer. During summers, food may be contaminated as they may be prepared under unhygienic kitchen conditions. Similarly drinking water too may be contaminated. Also high temperature favors rapid growth of bacteria in food resulting in food poisoning. Food and beverages sold on roadside are also important sources of food poisoning. To prevent food poisoning, always carry your own drinking water. Avoid eating cut open fruits that are sold on the roadside. Remember the formula for food and water hygiene: "Heat it, boil it, peel it, cook it or forget it."

To prevent dehydration during summer, drink plenty of fluids to maintain adequate body fluid level, especially during outdoor activities like sports. Don't wait till you feel thirsty. Always keep homemade lemonade or ORS handy. Avoid alcohol or caffeinated drinks as they can further increase fluid loss.

Wearing sunglasses and a hat to protect the eyes from the strong UV radiation are other precautions that one can take during summer.

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