5 common summer health hazards and how to avoid them

Summer is a time for fun, trips to the beach, BBQ’s and hanging out with friends but it also comes with its own health hazards. We look at the 5 most common and how you can avoid them for a sizzling summer of fun.

  1. Dehydration

Although dehydration can occur at any time of the year it’s more likely in the summer months. We tend to spend more time outside being active and having fun, getting a bit sweaty and often don’t have enough water with us. When dehydration sets in you begin to feel dizzy, lightheaded and get a dry mouth. The most severe form is heatstroke, this is when the internal body temperature gets too high, and you stop sweating. This can be dangerous and result in seizures and hallucinations.

What to do:

If you do become dehydrated the best idea is to get inside, cool down with ice packs and drink water slowly.

How to avoid it:

The good news is that dehydration is easy to avoid, we need to consume on average 2 litres of water per day but if in the sun it could be more. Ensure that if you are outside you take plenty of breaks in the shade, wear a hat, drink plenty of fluid and try and keep vigorous activity for the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is not so hot. Avoid dehydrating drinks like caffeine and alcohol.

  1. Sunburn

In a recent survey 29% of Britt’s admitted they had been sunburnt in the UK over the last 12 months and 1 in 3 Americans report getting sunburnt each year. It is estimated that skin melanoma accounted for 4% of all new cancer diagnoses in EU in 2020 and for 1.3% of all deaths due to cancer. 

With exposure to ultraviolet light, i.e. sunlight as the prime cause of melanoma and your risk of getting a melanoma doubling if you have had just 5 sunburns in your life, it is well worth avoiding sunburn.  

Sunburn is simply overexposure to sunlight on the skin. It leaves the skin painful, warm to the touch and often red.

What to do:

If you do get sunburn ensure you drink plenty of fluid as sunburn can contribute to dehydration. Bathe in cool water to reduce the heat and apply a gentle moisturiser to soothe the skin. Dabbing on calamine lotion may help, but don’t use one with an added antihistamine The anti-inflammatory properties of wheatgrass juice also make it a great remedy to soothe sunburnt skin.

Simply apply Britt's Superfoods wheatgrass juice sachet to the affected area and allow it to soothe. Give it time to defrost slightly before use, as you don't want ice burn

How to avoid it:

Luckily sunburn is easy to avoid by wearing sunscreen that protects against both UVB and UVA rays, long-sleeved shirts, and wide-brimmed hats and staying out of blistering midday rays.

  1. Food poisoning

Food poisoning affects up to 5.5 million people in the UK every year.  with the peak in the summer months and approximately 1 in 6 Americans get sick every year with food poisoning.  The symptoms are feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and a high temperature.

What to do:

Mild cases of food poisoning can be cared for at home. Avoid solid foods, and stick with small, frequent drinks of clear liquid to stay hydrated. Once nausea and vomiting have eased, you can try bringing food back into your diet, slowly and in small quantities. If symptoms persist for more than a couple of days or hours for small children, see a doctor.

How to avoid it:

  • Wash your hands- in warm soapy water and dry them well before preparing food.
  • Clean work surfaces where you will be preparing food
  • Refrigerate everything for as long as possible
  • Keep raw meat away from other items
  • Use a thermometer to ensure that meat is cooked to the correct temperature
  • Rinse raw fruits and vegetables before using.
  • Don’t prepare food if feeling unwell
  1. Stings

Being outdoors means fresh air and sunshine but it also means increased exposure to insect bites and stings. Some of the most common are mosquitos, midgets, horseflies, bees, wasps and hornets, and if you are near the sea jellyfish.

Most discomfort and itching from bites and stings are inconvenient but not dangerous. The most common symptoms are swelling, itching, pain, tenderness, and redness. However, if you have tightness in your chest, or swelling of the tongue or face, get straight to the doctor.

What to do:

A cold compress, ice pack or bag of frozen peas should provide sufficient relief for most bites and stings and pain relief for those that are very tender. Specialist cream can also cause some relief and discouraging children from scratching can avoid the risk of future infection.

How to avoid it:

  • Wear light-coloured clothing with no floral patterns as stinging insects can be attracted to dark colours and flowers
  • Be cautious when drinking sweet beverages outside as they can attract insects
  • Avoid leaving food uncovered as it can attract insects
  • Avoid wearing sweet-smelling fragrances while spending time outdoors
  • Install screens on windows if they are going to be open frequently
  • Wear shoes to avoid getting bites on the feet
  • Have a citronella candle near you when outside as it deters some insects.
  1. Hay fever

Hay fever or allergic rhinitis, as it is sometimes called, affects between 10% and 30% of the population worldwide. This figure is on the rise and hay fever accounts for over 17 million doctor visits per year. At its height when the pollen levels are high It can cause runny itchy eyes, a sore throat, blocked nose, itchy skin, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, and a host of other unpleasant symptoms. Many people with hay fever lose sleep and some are left incapacitated by this allergic reaction. 

What to do: There is currently no cure for hay fever, but many people take medication to prevent the symptoms from becoming unbearable. 

How to avoid it:

There are several things you can do to try and avoid hay fever, these include:

  • Putting Vaseline around your nostrils to trap pollen
  • Wearing sunglasses to stop pollen from getting into your eyes
  • Changing your clothes frequently after you have been outside
  • stay indoors whenever possible
  • keep windows and doors shut as much as possible
  • Use a neti pot
  • Consume wheatgrass juice - Wheatgrass juice contains B vitamins which may help manage hay fever symptoms. Wheatgrass juice is high in Vitamin B5, which supports the adrenal glands and helps with allergic reaction responses to the body. 

Summer is a time for sun, fun and entertaining and to make sure you get the most out of it , why not add one of our superfood juices to your diet. Packed with nutrients and vitamins they will support your energy levels to ensure you make the most of your summer. To order simply visit our shop here today.