Dubai: With the heat setting in, health experts have reminded UAE residents about the need to take precautions to ensure a safe summer.
Based on historical records, the maximum temperature recorded in Dubai between 1977 and 2018 was 47.9C. Interior regions in the country recorded higher maximum temperatures.
Rezeen in Abu Dhabi, for example, recorded 49.6C between 2013 and 2018, figures from the National Centre of Meteorology show.
It gets hotter, however, by July and August as the maximum temperature could soar to the 50C range in some areas, particularly interior regions.
With summer officially beginning on June 21, experts said it is a must for residents to take measures to keep their body cool and protect themselves from the scorching heat.
Doctors and dietitians said the most important health tip to get summer-ready is to keep hydrated as the body loses excessive water content in hot weather.
“In summer, you should keep drinking water before you even feel thirsty. While going out keep a bottle of water with you,” said Dr Mohammad Arif, Internal Medicine Specialist at Aster Hospital, Mankhool.
While it is better to stay indoors as much as possible, especially between 11.30am and 3.30pm, getting the sunshine early in the morning is still advisable for those who have a vitamin D deficiency, said Dr Arif.
“If it is not necessary, don’t go out during the day. Plan your day to avoid exposure outside,” he added.
While sunscreens is an essential shield, Dr Arif said his personal advice is to use an umbrella while going out.
Sunglasses are also required when venturing out. Hats and portable fans can also provide much-needed relief from the heat. Light and loose clothing, preferably in cotton, will also help.
Outdoor exercises should be limited to early morning and late evenings. “Parents should limit the outdoor activities of children also. They should also avoid swaddling babies while going out,” he added.
It is also important to look out for symptoms of dehydration and heat stroke among the more vulnerable such as children, the elderly and those who work outside.
“Urine should be ideally colourless or light yellow. If it is dark it is a symptom of dehydration,” warned Dr Arif.
Headaches, muscle cramps, vomiting and giddiness are among the symptoms of heat exhaustion that should be taken serious note of.
Giving diet tips for summer health, Lama Sinjer, clinical dietitian with Prime Hospital, said people should make sure to drink at least two to three litres of water a day.
Since the body loses a lot of water content, salt intake should be limited. “Excess intake of salt, fatty and processed food will aggravate dehydration,” she cautioned.
It is better to avoid beverages like tea, coffee and soft drinks. “Avoid quenching yourself even with juices. Even fresh juices have high sugar content,” she added.
Eating light is the key for summer health, said Sinjer. She said appetisers should be avoided as they are loaded with calories.
“Always start with a salad. Make sure to take cold items like fresh green cut salad and fruits. Half of your plate should be cooked or raw vegetables, and one fourth should have protein-rich food and one fourth carbohydrates like rice, potato or pasta. Avoid spicy food, gas-producing food that causes bloating, and fatty and fried food items.”
In case you’re craving sweets, pick fruits such as watermelons, cherries and strawberries, she added.