Summer time is when the kids are out of school, their schedules are less structured, wake up times and bedtimes may be a little later but to the person with sickle cell disease there are additional things to keep in mind.
Summer time brings hotter temperatures (especially in the South). Those with sickle cell disease must be careful to not be in extreme heat conditions as this can cause complications including pain crises due to sickling.
People with SCD are at a higher risk of dehydration especially during the summer. Drink water and consider carrying a water bottle with you! Try to drink at least 10 cups of water and perhaps even more if you are planning to be extra active.
Swimming pools during the summer time can be so much fun but never swim in cold water. Extreme temperature change can trigger sickling and cause a pain crisis. Dry off immediately after leaving a pool.
Please be aware of the outside temperature. Also, be cautious of going from the heat outside to air conditioning inside. That can trigger a pain crisis as well. Have a blanket or jacket available to regulate your body temperature.
Be sure to eat foods that will help your body. Consider foods that contribute to hydration such as watermelon, broccoli, grapefruit and tomatoes. This can help supplement the fluids your body needs.
I know there’s so much to consider when you are managing a chronic disease but try to relax and have fun. Do things that make you happy. Remember that you are so strong and resilient and that you inspire so many people!
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