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The harmattan season is upon us again; that time of the year when the weather is very dry and dusty, resulting in bouts of cold and flu.

For those averse to heat, harmattan is their favourite season but it usually comes with a price – common cold and flu – and according to experts, this is as a result of change in weather conditions.

Therefore, your primary concern should be how you can protect yourself and loved ones from the health effects of harmattan, especially children.

The best way to protect yourself is by washing your hands with soap and clean water frequently, avoiding rubbing or touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and avoiding contact with people already infected with cold and or the flu.

These rules also apply to influenza.

In addition to the aforementioned, LAFF OUT recommends these six habits to protect you from harmattan.

  • Wear thick clothing:

Harmattan isn’t the time to wear your favourite silk dress or that one with the plunging neckline; sleeveless, shorts and any other dress that exposes your body (especially the chest region) isn’t exempted. To cope and live healthy during this season, one major thing you need to do is wear thick clothing. Wearing thick clothing helps to prevent cold infection or over exposing the chest to cold symptoms which is one of the best healthy things to do. You can keep your children or babies safe and warm by wearing thick cloth for them at this time too.

  • Stay indoor:

Did I hear somebody say ‘impossible?’ While some of us have to go out to work, visit friends, buy groceries or other consumables from the market or store, it’s best to stay indoors especially if you’ve no serious business being outside. Remember that harmattan is a harsh condition and staying indoors is your sure bet to keeping the cold, dry and dusty wind at bay.

  • Use Balm / Body Moisturiser:

Harmattan causes dry skin, dry lips, lips cracks, skin cracks etc but you can manage this by applying lip balms on your lips, and using moisturizers on your body especially your hands and legs. Aside the fact that this is a healthy option due to the oil contents contained in moisturizing creams, it prevents the skin surface from various irritations that may occur due to harmattan. And one of the best ways to keep babies safe at this time is by rubbing their body with shea butter or any wet skin lotion that prevents the skin from dryness.

  • Eat fruits:

Fruits are a natural source of vitamins and minerals that prevent diseases and also increase the metabolic rate of the body. It also contains water and fiber which aid digestion and ease the passage of feces from the body. Eating fruits during harmattan is therefore a natural and cost-effective way to protect yourself. If you don’t have access to good fruit in your area, you can still get some fruit juice made from real fruits and not sugar coated juice.

  • Bathe with warm water:

Another way to stay healthy during harmattan period is to bathe with warm water in the morning and at night. This will keep the body warm and free of cold and other flu symptoms. You can also bathe little children with warm water as well, it also keeps them warm and prevent the children from contacting flu or other related disease.

  • Avoid cold drinks:

Harmattan period is not a time of having cold or chilled drinks but a period where hot water or warm drink is most suitable. Cold drinks or cold water during harmattan period is not healthy because it may lead to cough, flu, sore throat, catarrh etc. Hot or warm drinks on the other hand, keep our internal body temperature warm and inhabitable for cold and flu infections.

Culled from: The Juicy Blog

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