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Heatwave warning – local NHS issues essential advice

Helpful tips to stay safe when the mercury rises are being shared by the NHS ahead of this week’s predicted heatwave.

Temperatures are forecast to climb to at least 33 degrees centigrade in our area and it will stay very warm at night, which can cause health problems for some people. The sunshine also means anyone who is out and about needs to take extra care to reduce the risk of sun burn, heat stroke and dehydration.

Protecting yourself from the sun and heat, carrying water when travelling and looking out for others - especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions - can make a lot of difference.  

Dr Nicolas Small, GP and Chair of NHS Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense.  Before the even hotter weather arrives, think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat.

“Older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children can be seriously affected by the summer heat.  That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able to, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.”

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • wash in cooler water to help keep your temperature down
  • drink plenty of cold fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially children or older people
  • check on elderly or unwell neighbours every day during a heatwave
  • follow local safety advice if you are thinking of going into open water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, use sunscreen and wear a hat if you have to go out in the heat
  • re-apply sunscreen regularly and remind the people you’re with to do the same
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you have water with you wherever you go, and encourage others to carry a water bottle they can re-fill.

If you or others start to feel unwell:

  • move out of the heat  as soon as possible, and drink some water to rehydrate
  • try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious, or have a headache or intense thirst
  • use NHS 111 online or by telephone to seek advice if you have concerns but it’s not an emergency.

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