Saturday, January 31, 2009

Water & Sun - How To Stay Healthy & Safe

This information comes directly from our Habitat host. He wants our team to be healthy and safe at all times. He says:

Always wash your hands thoroughly before eating.

Always request for purified or bottled water. Even when taking mixed drinks or soda’s with ice, please request for ice/ ice cubes from purified water.

Using purified water may include for brushing teeth. Water can be purified or distilled. Bottled water is abundant and readily available.

Water contamination may apply to bathing as well as food.

If bathing or swimming in rivers is a practice, be cautious if the water could be contaminated. Wash thoroughly and disinfect cuts and sores afterwards. Do not shave while bathing in such water.

If purchasing fruits and vegetables on your own, please have this thoroughly washed or even peeled if necessary before eating.

Street food: Volunteers are advised to ask about buying any “street food”. Though this is a culinary experience, please ask the advice of your local project host before doing so.

In special cases where the toilet facilities are a challenge to some participants, some may choose not to drink enough water just to avoid using these facilities. Dehydration can be the consequence.

Sunburn and even heat exhaustion and stroke are a potential risk.

Always put on sunscreen before working or even going to the city.

Wear a hat or bandanna on the work site.

Wear a long-sleeved shirt to protect the arms and long trousers for the legs.

Also, working on a construction site for prolonged periods of time is not a usual activity for most international team members, frequent breaks and rest are encouraged.

“Drink lots of water! The greatest health threats to any team working in the tropical heat are dysentery and dehydration”.

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