Tips for dry season

Apisai Basaqa takes advantage of the recent rainfall to work on his farm in Sigatoka. Picture FELIX CHAUDHARY

THE dry season is here. It is this time of the year that people get sick more often because of the windy and dry condition we go through daily.

It is, therefore, important that people should be well versed with important tips to keep them healthy in this dry weather.

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of sickness in such prolonged dry season and most people get sick because they tend to take for granted the basic yet important component of human life — drinking water.

Water is a basic need of human life and people need to be aware of its importance especially in such weather when it is really hot in the day and it’s really cold in the night. Water, www.mydr.com.au explained should be given to counteract dehydration in hot or humid weather, regardless of people’s activity level.

Drinking water helps lower your body temperature and replace the fluid you lose through sweating.

It should be drunk before you get to the stage of feeling thirsty.

People who love fizzy drinks and other drinks such as coffee, or alcohol-containing beverages should remember that they are no substitute for water. Although they contain water, they also contain ingredients which are dehydrating.

The website also highlighted that sports drinks contain carbohydrates and electrolytes that are useful for exercising in hot weather.

Elder members of the family should be encouraging their children the importance of drinking water and supervision is warranted for young family members especially children as they are vulnerable to sicknesses in such dry weather.

It is important that family members are educated on the importance of drinking water to maintain healthy living and avoid sicknesses. The health website www.mydr.com.au also recommended that during hot weather we should be drinking water even when not thirsty.

You can tell if you are well hydrated if you do not feel thirsty and your urine is a dilute (clear) colour.

Other things you can do to avoid dehydration during hot weather include:

  • avoiding the sun in the middle of the day — exercise or do outdoor activities early in the morning or evening instead;
  • wearing sunscreen and a hat that shades your head, neck, ears and face — sunburn stops your body from cooling itself down properly;
  • wearing thin, loose clothing — this allows good airflow, which helps sweat evaporate; and
  • avoiding dark clothing, as this absorbs more heat than light clothing.

Whatever you do and wherever you are during the day or even in the night, it is important to keep in mind that you need to continue drinking water as this is the only possible way to counter sicknesses and diseases.

The early stages of dehydration usually have no signs or symptoms, but can include dryness of the mouth and thirst.

Other symptoms of early or mild dehydration may include: (Source: www.mydr.com.au)

  • Head ache;
  • Dry skin;
  • Passing less urine than normal;
  • Tiredness; l Dizziness; and
  • Cramping in the arms and legs.

As dehydration increases, signs may include:

  • extreme thirst and parched mouth and tongue;
  • rapid pulse;
  • dark, yellow urine; l little or no urination; and
  • sunken eyes.

In infants, a sunken fontanelle (the soft spot on the top of the head) skin that has lost its elasticity and doesn’t quickly return to its normal position after being pinched; the absence of tears when crying, irritability or drowsiness and irrational behaviour.

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