Despite heavy rains recently, the country is well into the dry season since the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)1 dubbed its beginning last month.
PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano, in a statement, advised the public to ‘take precautionary measures to minimize heat stress’ due to the warm and dry conditions, particularly when it concerns heat-related health risks for all.
This doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have fun in the sun — especially now with relaxed COVID-19 measures — we just have to be mindful of our movements to avoid the overall uneasiness of the season. Here are a few tips:
HYDRATION IS A MUST
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)2 states that drinking enough water is one of the most vital things to do to prevent heat illness.
In fact, it was mentioned that water alone is generally sufficient for hydration while energy drinks (that contain more caffeine than standard servings of coffee, tea, or soft drinks) and alcohol are no-nos because they can affect your heart and cause dehydration.
To drink more water3, you can do the following:
- Keep a reusable water bottle with you.
- Set reminders!
- Drink one glass of water before every meal.
- Drink one glass per hour at work.
- Add variety to your water — add flavours!
Remember: You do NOT need to wait ‘til you’re thirsty to hydrate! Sip your fluids throughout the day and weave the following suggestions into your routine.
TAKE A RAIN CHECK ON OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES
While most of us want to live a good beach adventure, some of us cannot afford too much exposure under direct sunlight — which is definitely okay! Staying inside is a surefire way to prevent heat exhaustion and stroke, especially for the elderly or those with compromised immune systems and chronic illnesses.
Department of Health’s Dr. Francisco Duque III even recommended: “Stay indoors during midday.”
SEEK SUN SAFETY WHEN OUTSIDE
Of course, for those who can’t help but be out and about for the first time since the start of the pandemic, sun protection is key!
Duke Assistant Professor of Dermatology Meenal Kheterpal said that the best protection for our skin outdoors involves multiple measures.5 The expert also mentioned seeking shade whenever possible, via “shelter, wide-brimmed hats or umbrellas; wearing clothes that shield your skin and using sunscreen.”
In addition, be wary of high-energy activities when during the hottest times of the day.
FIRST AID AND HEALTH COVERAGE
Health insurance is not just needed on rainy days, it is also extremely valuable for the dog days of the dry season. If you get symptoms of heat-induced illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, rhabdomyolysis, heat syncope, heat cramps, and heat rash, you can practice first aid suggestions by the CDC6 or check your nearest health provider in the vast network of specialists by EastWest Healthcare.
Providing the principle of “Freedom to Choose,” EastWest Healthcare has been dedicated to improving the lives of Filipinos for 20 years now — and is continuing on improving access to quality care, advocating for the total wellbeing of clients, and providing peace of mind for healthier tomorrows.
Keep these recommendations in mind and stay safe in the sun!
1.) PAGASA. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.pagasa.dost.gov.ph/press-release/84
2) Heat stress: Hydration – Centers for Disease Control and … (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/works/pdfs/2017-126.pdf
3) Shoemaker, S. V. (2020, August 19). 12 simple ways to drink more water. Healthline. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-drink-more-water
4) Fernandez, D. (2022, March 17). How to stay healthy during the dry season? health chief counts the ways. INQUIRER.net. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/1569800/how-to-stay-healthy-during-the-dry-season-health-chief-counts-the-ways
5) Stephen Schramm @WorkingatDuke, & Schramm, S. (n.d.). Sun Safety: How to protect your skin this summer. Duke Today. Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://today.duke.edu/2021/05/sun-safety-how-protect-your-skin-summer
6) Heat stress: First aid for heat illness. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2022, from https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/mining/UserFiles/works/pdfs/2017-128.pdf