Harmattan

The late November into the whole of December doesn’t just signify the end of the year; it also introduces the harmattan season. This is characterized by cold and dry air that affects several regions in West Africa. This harsh season can last from the end of November into January and mid-March in some regions. The harmattan season brings its usual dusty winds, dry air, and thick hazes, as well as diseases. Furthermore, what also makes this season unique is the physical changes that we experience to make this season unique. This may include dehydration, dry and cracked lips, and in most cases, dry skin.

Many people with underlying health issues may also have it tough in periods like this. One study showed that harmattan can have adverse effects on people with cardiovascular diseases.  As the dry season approaches, it brings with it a set of challenges that can impact both our health and safety. From heightened fire risks to dehydration concerns, being prepared is key to navigating the dry season successfully. Thankfully, there are simple steps to help you get through the harsh weather that the harmattan brings. The list below is simple health tips for the Harmattan season and how to take care of yourself properly.

Stay Hydrated:

One of the primary challenges during the dry season is dehydration. The high temperatures and low humidity levels can lead to increased water loss through perspiration and evaporation. To combat this, it’s crucial to stay well-hydrated. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day, and more if you’re physically active. Carry a reusable water bottle with you to ensure you have access to water throughout the day.

Protect Your Skin

Extended exposure to the sun can cause skin damage, ranging from sunburn to more severe conditions like skin cancer. To protect your skin, use sunscreen with a high SPF, wear wide-brimmed hats, and opt for clothing that covers exposed areas. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun, especially during peak hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Wear appropriate clothes

It’s important to wear what’s appropriate for the weather, so you don’t easily catch a cold or develop dry skin. Thick, heat-absorbent clothing traps heat expelled from the body and limits heat emission to the environment.

You can also wear hand gloves, socks and well-covered footwear to guarantee maximum warmth. In addition, you can wear glasses to protect your eyes from dust particles, which cause redness and itchy eyes.

Take honey and cut lemons in warm water

This miracle combo is perfect for dry and irritating parts of your throat. It works by providing quick relief as honey is nature’s remedy for cough and sore throat. Honey can also be smeared on a snack or added to tea or coffee, depending on your preferences.

Fire Safety

The dry season often brings an increased risk of wildfires. To prevent accidental fires, avoid open burning and be cautious with activities that involve sparks, such as barbecues or campfires. Follow local fire regulations and report any signs of smoke or fire promptly. Creating defensible space around your home by clearing away dry vegetation can also help reduce the risk of wildfires.

Air Quality Awareness

Wildfires and dry conditions can contribute to poor air quality. Stay informed about air quality levels in your area, especially if you have respiratory conditions. Limit outdoor activities on days with poor air quality, and consider using air purifiers indoors. Keep windows and doors closed during times of heightened pollution to minimize exposure.

Prepare for Water Scarcity

The dry season often leads to water scarcity, making water conservation crucial. Fix any leaks in your home, collect rainwater for non-potable uses, and use water-saving appliances. Be mindful of your water usage, and consider implementing drought-resistant landscaping to reduce the need for irrigation.

Protect Your Home

Dry conditions make vegetation more susceptible to fires, so it’s essential to create a defensible space around your home. Clear away dry leaves, debris, and dead plants. Trim branches that overhang your roof and clear gutters regularly. Having an emergency evacuation plan in place and keeping important documents in a secure, easily accessible location can also contribute to your safety.

Monitor Your Health

During the dry season, it’s important to be aware of potential health risks and take necessary precautions. Respiratory issues may worsen during this time, so it’s crucial to keep track of your health and seek medical attention promptly if you experience difficulty breathing, a persistent cough, or any other respiratory symptoms. Additionally, it’s important to be on the lookout for signs of dehydration, heat exhaustion, or heatstroke, and act quickly if you or someone around you shows any symptoms.

 

To stay safe and healthy during the dry season, there are several essential tips to keep in mind. These include staying hydrated, protecting your skin from the sun, being cautious with fire, monitoring air quality, preparing for water scarcity, safeguarding your home, and keeping a close eye on your health. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you are doing everything possible to prioritize your well-being during this time.

 

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By fadmin

Benjamin Mensah [Freshhope] is a young man, very passionate about the youth of this Generation. Very friendly, reliable and very passionate about the things of God and all that I do. The mission is to inform, educate and entertain. Feel free to send your whatsapp messages to +233266550849 and call on +233242645676

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