This weekend looks set to be the hottest one of year so far, prompting doctors at Epsom and St Helier hospitals to share some advice about staying safe in the sun.
Following a scorching weekend forecast from the Met Office, Dr James Marsh, Joint Medical Director at Epsom and St Helier hospitals, explained why the hot weather can be dangerous: “During temperatures like these, people can suffer from heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion, dehydration and sunburn.
“As always, our staff will be on-hand to care for people who need us, but we all know that prevention is always better than the cure. I would urge everyone to enjoy the heat and sun safely, by making sure that you stay cool and hydrated. And don't forget the sunscreen!
“Those with heart, respiratory and other serious health conditions are more at risk, and the heat can sometime make these conditions worse. The elderly, babies, and young children are also especially at risk.”
James’ top tips for keeping cool are:
- Keep windows closed when the room is cooler than it is outside
- Open windows at night when the temperature outside has dropped
- Reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows
- Have plenty of cold drinks, avoid excess alcohol and caffeine
- Have cool showers or baths, put a loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck, and spray or splash your face with cold water frequently to help keep your body cool.
Danger symptoms to watch out for in hot weather include:
- Feeling faint and dizzy
- Feeling short of breath
- Increased confusion.
If you are affected by any of these symptoms, it is important to cool down as quickly as possible, avoid paracetamol (which can make you worse) and seek further advice from NHS 111 or a doctor. Call 999 if a person has collapsed.
If anyone you know is likely to be at risk during a heatwave, help them get the advice and support they need. Older people living on their own should be visited daily to check they are OK.
Remember, heatstroke can kill. It can develop very suddenly, and can rapidly lead to unconsciousness. If you suspect someone has heatstroke, call 999 immediately. You can find more information about weather warnings and the latest forecast at www.metoffice.gov.uk (opens in a new window) and further health advice at www.nhs.uk (opens in a new window).