4 July 2018
Check on your older neighbours, family and friends, as well as people who are less able to care for themselves during the hot weather.
The Met Office and Public Health England have upgraded their heatwave alerts for western regions of England and extended the current alerts through to the middle of next week.
The over 65s, young children and those with heart and lung conditions can all find normal activities a strain when temperatures get this high. High temperatures, indoors and outdoors can also pose a risk to everyone’s health over such a sustained period.
The hot weather has now been in place for two weeks and we are seeing an increase in the number of people who are attending GP surgeries and calling NHS 111 for heat related conditions such as sunburn, sunstroke, heatstroke and insect bites.
Long spells of hot weather can be dangerous for older people and those less able.
There are things you can do to help yourself and others. Make sure you are aware of the signs that an older person may be affect by the hot weather.
UV levels in North Lincolnshire are currently very high - cover up, wear at least SPF15 with UVA protection, and avoid being out in the sun between 11am and 3pm, also remember that UV can damage the eyes too.
People aged over 75 with serious long term conditions, heart or breathing problems, poor mobility, and mental health problems including dementia are particularly vulnerable. Make sure they are able to keep themselves cool.
Tips for coping in the hot weather:
- Keep windows and blinds closed when it’s hotter outside
- Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- Have cool baths/showers and go into the coolest room
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid too much coffee, tea and cola
- Wear loose cool clothing, a hat and sunglasses outside
- Go somewhere cooler if possible such as an air conditioned supermarket
- Look after your skin. Use a high sun protection factor (SPF) sun screen, at least SPF15 and reapply every two hours
- Avoid housework and strenuous activity
- Keep medicines below 25 degrees Celsius or in the refrigerator if necessary. Get advice from your GP or pharmacist if you are taking multiple medications
Here are some signs to look out for that might mean an older neighbour, friend or relative could need help:
- Intense thirst
- Chest pain
- Mild confusion
- Feeling faint
- Fast pulse
What to do if someone needs your help:
- Get them in a cool place to rest, give them plenty of fluids and remove any unnecessary clothing
- Get help from a GP or contact the NHS on 111 if the symptoms persist or the person doesn’t respond to interventions within 30 minutes or symptoms worsen.
There are some tips on our website on how to avoid heat stroke.
For more details on how to cope in hot weather, visit the NHS website.
Dr Thomas Waite of Public Health England, said:
“While many of us will be enjoying the hot weather over the next few days, for some it can pose a real health risk. So it is critically important that we keep an eye on friends, family and neighbours who may be at risk.
“To stay cool, avoid the sun during the hottest parts of the day, carry water with you when travelling and think what you can do stay cool when going to large events.
“It’s also worth remembering to think about practical steps to keep your home cool during the day as this can aid sleeping at night and give the body time to recover from the heat. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.”