Public Health England (PHE) has issued a warning saying the extreme heat may pose a risk to the most vulnerable.
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long, there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2000 heat related deaths every year. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.
Dr Thomas Waite, of PHE, said: “It’s vitally important that we keep an eye on friends, family and neighbours who may be at risk, especially the over-65s, young children and those with health conditions who are the most vulnerable in hot weather.”
Stay well this Summer
Guidance from the NHS about what we can do in the hot weather to ensure our safety.
Symptoms to look out for during a heatwave:
Danger symptoms to watch out for in hot weather include: feeling faint and dizzy, short of breath, vomiting, cramps in arms, legs or stomach or increasing confusion.
Take immediate action if danger symptoms of heatstroke are present
Cool down as quickly as possible – move to a cool place, increase ventilation, sprinkle cold water on the skin and drink water or fruit juice.
Do not take aspirin or paracetamol.
Seek further advice from NHS 111, a doctor, or ring 999 if the person has collapsed.
Information taken from NHS Choices
Did you know …….
Dehydration in older people increases their risk of urinary tract infections, constipation and an increase risk of falls. For those with dementia, it can lead to more challenging behaviour.
With age, the sense of thirst decreases, so older people may not recognise that they are thirsty.
Some people may limit what they drink for fear of incontinence. However, restricting fluid produces concentrated urine which can irritate the bladder and make incontinence worse.
Heatwaves can be dangerous, especially for the very young or very old or those with chronic disease. Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can be obtained from NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/summerhealth, NHS 111 or from your local chemist.
Read our top ten ways to keep cool, then the advice from Public Health England.
Ten Top Tips to Keep Cool During a Heat Wave
- Freeze smoothies to create healthy and refreshing ice lollies
- Stay out of the sun! Obvious but especially important between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day)
- Get your hot water bottle out… no really! Filled with cold water they work equally as well at the opposite end of heat range, especially good for hot nights
- Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist
- To chill out super-fast, apply ice packs or cold compresses to pulse points at the wrists, neck, elbows, groin, ankles, and behind the knees
- Stay hydrated by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing, turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in before you snooze
- You can cool down a whole room by hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window. The breeze blowing in will quickly bring down the room’s temperature
- Disconnect electronics – gadgets and other small appliances give off heat, even when turned off. Reduce total heat in the building (and save energy!) by keeping plugs out of sockets when the appliances are not in use
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks that will dehydrate you more easily, and eat small meals regularly – your body warms up as it works to process larger meals, so eating smaller portions can help keep you cooler
- Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day to keep the sun out, then open up in the evening as the temperature drops to let cooler air through