It's summer in UAE: Here are the ways to keep yourself safe


Medical experts' top advice is to drink a lot of water throughout the day. — File poto
Medical experts' top advice is to drink a lot of water throughout the day. — File poto

Doctors advise residents to make some lifestyle changes and avoid outside activities during mid-day

By James Jose

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Published: Fri 21 May 2021, 9:27 PM

The world’s coolest winter is now officially over — time to pull out the hats, umbrellas and sunglasses. Earlier this week, temperatures in the garden city of Al Ain hit 47.3 degrees Celsius, a clear sign that the UAE summer is here.

Now that the sweltering summer is here, health experts in the UAE have warned of the many diseases that pose a threat during this period. Residents are urged to take precautions.

“Heat stroke, sun burns, dehydration, headaches and dizziness, food poisoning, chicken pox, measles, mumps, typhoid, skin infections are the common diseases that people should be wary of,” said Dr Shilpa Murthy, general practitioner at Aster Clinic, Arabian Ranches.

Some routines will also have to change as outdoor activities should be avoided between 11am and 5pm, the doctors said.

When out and about, people must watch for fatigue and dizziness, which are often the early signs of heat-related illness, said Dr Remesan Gopalan, internal medicine specialist at NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain.

“Early symptoms include feeling of fatigue, dizziness, muscle cramps and vomiting. (If these are felt) one should promptly resort to a cool place and hydrate. If they still display symptoms, they should seek medical care in order to prevent further complications like renal failure, seizures and more serious disseminated intravascular coagulation,” Dr Gopalan said.

Doctors’ top advice is hydration: Drink a lot of water throughout the day.

“Focus on drinking water, not less than one and half litres per day. Keep your skin moisturised and clean all day, cover face and neck from direct sunlight exposure by using summer hats or sunblock creams with SPF not less than 50 written on the pack,” said Dr Rasha Alani, family medicine specialist, at Medcare Medical Centre—Al Khawaneej.

Dr Ayesha Khalid, family medicine consultant at Burjeel Medical Centre, Al Zeina, also suggested a good diet of fruits and vegetables, which is rich in vitamins and electrolytes.

“To avoid dehydration, make sure that you have a well-balanced diet with fruits and vegetables so that you are getting all vitamins and electrolytes. If you are going to do any physical exertion or exercise, you make up for that by drinking more fluids and electrolytes,” Dr Khalid said.

Residents should also be wary of sudden changes in temperature when going out from a cool indoor environment.

“Make sure that your air conditioner is not so cool that when you go out, it’s suddenly very hot. There should not be a sudden change in the temperature,” she explained.

Contrary to popular perception, Dr Rasha Alani said staying indoors is not the answer as the body does need the right amount of sunlight.

“Benefits of sunlight exposure should not be neglected because of hot weather, especially vitamin D, which usually decreases in patients during the summer season,” she said.

How you can beat the heat

> At home

Put wet towels or cool packs on your arms or neck or put your feet in cool water

Take cool showers or baths

Minimise physical activity, do all household chores early in the morning when it is coolest

> Stepping out:

Wear light-coloured, loose fitting clothes made from natural fibres like cotton

Make use of shaded areas for rest in between

Apply sunscreen, wear a hat, use an umbrella and wear sunglasses

Avoid being outdoors between 11am and 5pm

Make use of shaded areas for rest in between

Go to swim between 7am to 10am or after 4pm

Don’t leave pets or children in closed cars.

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