How to stay cool and healthy in the hot weather

Extreme heat can affect anyone, not just the more vulnerable
Extreme heat can affect anyone, not just the more vulnerable

This week we have been basking in sunshine and temperatures are forecast to soar even further across the south coast.

As the sun shines, the NHS is urging people to be sensible and take appropriate measures to stay safe in the sun.

While the warmer weather is welcomed by most, it brings with it a likely increase in certain calls for emergency and out of hours NHS services.

Calls relating to sunburn, dehydration and heat stroke typically increase at this time of year.

High temperatures can also seriously affect people with long-term conditions such as heart conditions or high blood pressure.

The local NHS is urging everyone to make sure they are protected from the sun, take extra steps if you are at risk from the heat, think about vulnerable family members or friends, and to remember top tips for staying cool.

While many of us will enjoy a spell of much warmer weather, we need to look after ourselves and our more vulnerable residents to ensure everyone stays healthy and well.

Extreme heat can affect anyone, not just the more vulnerable.

Please keep an eye out for neighbours and members of the community who may be more vulnerable, and pop around to check they are okay.

There are some simple things everyone can do to stay cool and healthy in the hot weather:

• Stay inside in the coolest room you have, as much as possible.

• Draw curtains during the day and don’t open windows if it is cooler inside than out.

• Take cool showers or baths, and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly on the face and back of your neck.

• Try to eat cold foods such as salads and fruits, which contain water.

• Drink regularly – water and fruit juices are best. Avoid alcohol as it can make dehydration worse.

• Protect your skin by applying sun cream regularly when outside, and wear cool clothing and a hat when outside.

Health and social care workers in the community, hospitals and care homes are advised to regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 degrees, ensure patients have access to cold water and ice and that medicines are stored in a cool place.

Anyone worried about their health during hot weather or a heatwave, especially if taking medication, feeling unwell or having any unusual symptoms such as cramp in arms, legs or stomach, weaknesses or problems sleeping should contact their doctor, speak to a pharmacist, or call NHS 111 or visit the website at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk. Alternatively get a neighbour or friend to help you get help.

Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can be obtained from NHS Choices, NHS 111 or from your local chemist.

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