THE Philippines is blessed to have just the right mix of sun and rain. Usually, the rainy season can be felt around the month of July until February. Things begin to heat up come March, leading to a spectacular sunny summertime!
That said, there are several things to take note of when it comes to our own health, well-being and safety this time of the year. The heat is no joke, as the country just recently logged in its highest maximum heat index recorded at 49.6 degrees Celsius in Dagupan City, Pangasinan on Easter Sunday.
Here are 10 reminders on how to enjoy the sun without ruining the fun.
A very common misconception is to drink water when you’re thirsty. Unfortunately, the feeling of thirst may be deceiving. Just because you’re not thirsty, does not mean you’re well hydrated. So whether your thirsty or not, drink up all the time. Don’t even trust energy drinks or juices. It’s best to stick to water.
When you’re enjoying the beach or the pool, make sure everybody knows where everybody is at. Experienced swimmer or not, you can’t be overconfident as fatigue can quickly set in anytime, anywhere. Avoid untoward incidents and accidents like drowning or fainting on top of the grill. Keep your eyes on everyone. It pays to be safe. Never swim alone.
The sun is packed with harmful rays that you’ll never see or be able to measure just by feeling the warm light against your skin. If you’re going to be spending tons of time outdoors, make sure you load up on sunscreen, and generously apply it on your face, neck, arms, legs—just about anywhere your skin is exposed to sunlight.
Function over fashion
Okay. So we’re not saying you go out looking like you just got off of bed. The point is, you should pick your clothes and dress wisely; be more worried about comfort than that leather-slick OOTD look. Stock up on cotton loose-fitting shirts. Stick to brighter colors to allow some of the heat to bounce off of your clothes. White is the best option. Think loose, breathable fabrics.
Remember a bunch of emergency numbers just in case situations go beyond your control. There’s the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation, your neighborhood fire station or even your trusty car mechanic. The last one, because of the next reason...
If you drive your own vehicle, or are assigned to drive your friend’s car on the way to your next beach outing, never assume that your ride is all set and ready to go. Check the radiator if it’s been filled up with water. Check the oil if the vehicle has enough of it. Check the brake fluid. Make sure the tires are okay. Sometimes, cars get abused during summer vacations. Drive smart and safe.
For the campers and trekkers, watch out for ticks or mosquitoes. As the sun dries up most rivers and puddles, mosquitoes tend to camp and stay near still water. We do not want any more of the Dengue fever, do we?
Most food items, when not refrigerated, tend to spoil faster under the heat of the sun. Keep your food in a cool yet dry place. When going out on trips, it’s best to bring with you a cooler filled with ice. When cooking, be conscious enough not to mix cooked meat with raw meat on the same container. Also, don’t use the utensils used for cooking to serve the food.
Your best pet
Don’t forget about your pet! Be sure to give them access to fresh water all the time, and check that they’re staying in a cool, shaded place. Give them regular showers (assuming they’re not goldfishes or parrots). When walking dogs, be conscious of how hot the concrete or asphalt may be. Last, make sure your pets are vaccinated, as other people will be going out more with their own pets as well. You’ll never know!
Think about fire hazards or highly flammable liquids or devices and keep them cool, dry and out of the sun’s reach. Summer flings and disasters have this in common—all it takes is one spark.