Common Heat-Related Illnesses
Also, food should not be stored for too long even in the refrigerator. Frozen food should be thawed in a microwave and not at room temperature. It is vital that water used for cooking and drinking is stored safely and kept free from contamination.
Microorganisms are carried on hands, wiping cloths and utensils, especially cutting boards, and the slightest contact can transfer them to food and cause food-borne diseases. Washing hands before handling food, often during food preparation and after using the toilet, is vital to prevent contamination. All surfaces and equipment used for food preparation should be clean and sanitized. Kitchen areas and food should be protected from insects, pests and other animals. Raw and cooked food should be kept separately.
At this time of the year, you are also susceptible to colds and influenza. It is advisable to keep a safe distance from people who are coughing and sneezing. Washing hands often helps to eliminate germs that we pick up from door knobs, furniture, telephones, mobiles, computer keyboards and other surfaces that are touched a lot.
Heavy sweating without replacing lost fluids can lead to dehydration. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are common risks for children and teens who engage in prolonged or intense physical activity in the sun—for example, during sports practice.
Children can get dehydrated when they lose more body fluid by sweating or urinating than they replace by drinking. Even a small amount of dehydration, amounting to just two per cent of body weight, can affect a child. Dehydration increases the risk of other heat-related illnesses as it interferes with the body’s ability to regulate temperature. Symptoms of dehydration include dry or sticky mouth, thirst, low or no urine output, concentrated, dark-yellow urine, headache, dizziness, cramps and fatigue. Buy your packaged drinks from reputed and trusted brands after scanning the labels thoroughly for shelf life and list of ingredients. Avoid products with too many chemical additives like artificial colour and Class II preservatives, and also those with added sugar. Staying cool when environmental temperatures soar is important. Consuming non-diuretic fluids (fluids that do not increase urination) is better. Water is a good option, but children may drink more of a flavoured beverage such as clear juice. Caffeine-containing beverages (tea, coffee, colas) are diuretic and may actually increase loss of water from the body. Homemade traditional beverages – nimboo pani, sattu ka ghol, jal jeera, aam panna, bael ka sharbat, buttermilk, lassi, fruit juice, etc. – are excellent choices.
Your body’s immune system is dynamic. It gets stronger or weaker depending on a variety of factors, including nutrition. While healthy eating habits aren’t a guarantee against sickness, being proactive with your health can help you maintain your health and wellbeing.
The best way to keep food safe is to not leave cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours.
Microorganisms can multiply very quickly if food is stored at room temperature. All cooked and perishable food should be refrigerated immediately. By holding at temperatures below 5 degrees C or above 60 degrees C, the growth of microorganisms is slowed
down or stopped.