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Staying Indoors in Summer

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When I was a teenager in tropical Queensland, my mother would tell me to take my shirt off and get some exposure to the “health giving” sun. In those days, that was good advice. These days, not so good.

Looking at illness profiles, we see some recurrent conditions related to exposure to the sun of summer. Sunstroke is all too common. The body’s metabolism is upset and the natural balance of salts and minerals is lost. This is potentially fatal. The symptoms to look for include:

Extreme thirst
Feeling unusually tired (lethargic) or confused
Not passing urine for eight hours
Rapid pulse
Dizziness when you stand up that doesn’t go away after a few seconds.
The Emergency department is your next stop!

Another condition is kidney stones which are prevalent as the body becomes dehydrated and the salts crystallize out. Increase your water consumption by 50 percent in summer and you can avoid the kidney stones, which are very painful. Kidney pain can get a big strapping man to his knees. Fortunately, our urologists have a few ways of breaking up kidney stones, but just up the water intake first.

Sunburn is common in tourists who are not used to Thailand’s sun. If you are looking forward to the beach, then use a cream with Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30+ and re-apply every couple of hours, especially if you have been swimming as well.

While on swimming, statistics reveal that drowning has been the leading cause of death among 1 to 14-year-old children in Thailand over the past ten years. Between 2007 and 2017, there were 9,574 fatal drowning cases involving children under 15, which averages to about 957 children per year or a shocking three kids per day. Always accompany children when they are swimming.


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