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Hot weather advice

19 July 2017
Here are some tips for keeping safe and well while enjoying the sunshine when the weather is hot. Remember, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable, as are people with some medical conditions.

Protect your skin and eyes

  • use a broad spectrum sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15
  • try to stay out of the sun between 11:00 and 15:00
  • cover up – wear lightweight clothing and a hat to protect your skin
  • children’s skin is particularly vulnerable – use a four or five star rated sunscreen on all areas of skin not covered by clothing
  • wear good quality sunglasses

 

Keep cool and avoid getting dehydrated

  • Keep rooms as cool as possible by closing blinds and curtains
  • Close windows which are facing the sun and open them overnight
  • Avoid going out when the weather is hottest
  • Wear cool, light clothing
  • Drink plenty of water and other cool drinks – avoid tea, coffee and alcohol as these increase dehydration
  • Take cool showers and baths
  • If you take part in sport, avoid practising during the middle of the day

 

Look after the people around you – the following people are particularly vulnerable

  • Babies and children
  • Older people, especially those over 75
  • People with some medical conditions, especially those affecting the heart or breathing
  • People with serious mental health problems or who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • People who work outside

 

Know the signs of heat exhaustion – and what to do

  • Signs of heat exhaustion include faintness, dizziness, palpitations, nausea, headaches, low blood pressure, tiredness, confusion, loss of appetite and hallucinations
  • If you think someone may be suffering from heat exhaustion, get them to a cool place, give them plenty of water and cool their skin with wet cloths or a cool bath
  • Left untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heatstroke, a much more serious condition, needing medical treatment
  • Signs of heatstroke include dry skin, vertigo, confusion, headache, thirst, nausea, rapid shallow breathing (hyperventilation) and muscle cramps
  • Heatstroke is a medical emergency – if you think someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 999

 

Where to go for help

  • Contact your doctor, pharmacist or call 111 if you are worried about yourself or someone you know
  • Watch out for cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, or any of the symptoms above
  • Follow the advice given – if the symptoms get worse or do not go away, seek advice
  • Heatstroke is a medical emergency – if you believe someone is suffering from heatstroke, call 999
  • Signs of heatstroke include dry skin, vertigo, confusion, headache, thirst, nausea, rapid shallow breathing (hyperventilation) and muscle cramps