Everyone enjoys the summer, especially us Brits – after a long, icy winter and a temperamental spring, summer is a welcome reprieve from defrosting the car and wearing five layers to stave off the effects of hypothermia… but summer can have its own unique pitfalls. Here’s how to stay safe, healthy and happy this summer!
1. Fend Off The Swarms
As soon as you’ve ventured outside wearing a t-shirt and shorts, a terrible buzzing sound heralds the arrival of bees, wasps, and other insects whose apparent sole purpose is stinging you, biting you or otherwise ruining your day. But there’s no need to be sequestered in your own home by bugs.
Deter them by using insect repellent, burn citrus-scented candles in your garden, don’t set up camp near to water, keep food and drinks covered up, and avoid resembling a big flower by steering clear of flowery printed fabrics and floral perfumes.
2. (Don’t) Feel The Burn
We’ve all known the agony of sunburn – the pain, the peeling, the redness – not to mention the increased risk of skin cancer.
Reduce your risk of sunburn by staying out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is highest in the sky, cover up exposed flesh with thin, light-coloured natural fabrics like cotton, wear a hat to protect your face and eyes and also to combat overheating, and always wear sun lotion!
Take extra care with babies and young children, as childhood sunburn is associated with a higher risk of skin cancer in later life. Choose a sun cream with at least 15 SPF, and reapply at least every 3 hours throughout the day.
3. Steer Clear Of Hay Fever
Summer isn’t all fun and games, especially for people with seasonal allergies and hay fever. But don’t lock yourself away all summer.
Try taking antihistamines to control the symptoms of hay fever, and avoid pollen as best you can by avoiding mowing the lawn, drive with your windows closed, dust and vacuum regularly to stop pollen from building up in your house, and shower after spending time outside, as pollen can stick in your hair.
4. Barbecue Safely
Barbecues can be great fun, but make sure you practice food safety. Giving your guests food poisoning will make sure your barbecue is remembered for all the wrong reasons!
Keep raw and cooked foods separate at all times, ensure that all meat products are thoroughly cooked with no pink bits before serving, wash your hands well after handling raw meat, and keep foods in the fridge until you are ready to cook or serve them.
Probiotic supplements are great for helping to increase the good bacteria in your digestive system, which has numerous benefits to health. If you have been unlucky enough to be struck down with food poisoning or a tummy bug, taking a probiotic supplement can help you repopulate your natural gut flora.
5. Party Hard – But Sensibly
Summer may be party season, with more barbecues, beach parties, holidays and festivals than you can shake a flip-flop at. However, it is important not to drink too much, especially in the sun, as it can increase your risk of heatstroke, dehydration, and make you more prone to accidents and injury. Suffering from a hangover when its 90 degrees in the shade is pretty much the opposite of fun.
So if you have overindulged, get some rest, drink plenty of water to re-hydrate yourself, and take some milk thistle supplements. Milk thistle is thought to have liver-protecting properties, and can help to alleviate symptoms like indigestion or an upset stomach after overindulging with food or alcohol.