Heatwave advice

16th Jun 2017

Forecasters are predicting temperatures will reach as high as 30oc this weekend which, without adequate protection, could cause sunburn and heatstroke. Chronic respiratory conditions, such as asthma and hayfever, are often made worse by the heat and high pollen count. But sufferers can help prevent their conditions from worsening by stocking up on medication from local pharmacies or their local GP if necessary.

 

Local pharmacists are highly trained healthcare experts and can offer advice as well as prevention remedies and treatments for many conditions worsened by hot weather.

 

You can reduce your risk of sunburn by following the advice below:

 

  • Avoid exposure to sunlight when the sun is strongest 11am-3pm – stay in the shade as much as possible, cover up with loose clothing and a hat, and use sunscreen.

     

  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun, choose one that has a high sun protection factor (SPF) – sunscreen with an SPF of 50 offers the best level of protection.

     

  • Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight 

    Older people and those with long‐term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather. The County Council has reminded residential homes of the need to be extra mindful of heat effects on their residents.  Ideally, check their room is not too hot and see that they have access to cold water.  

    The symptoms of heatstroke can develop over several days in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with long-term health problems. Symptoms can develop more quickly when associated with physical activity; this type of heatstroke usually affects young, active people.   

    Symptoms of heatstroke include

  • high temperature – a temperature of 40°C (104°F) or above is one of the main signs of heatstroke (although it can be diagnosed at lower temperatures)
     
  • heavy sweating that suddenly stops – if the body can't produce any more sweat, the skin will become dry which is a major warning sign that the body has become over-heated and dehydrated
     
  • a rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing
     
  • muscle cramps.
     
    Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance if you think that you or someone you know has heatstroke.
     
    Tips for coping in hot weather:
     
    Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
     
    Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
     
    Have cool baths or showers.
     
    Keep hydrated - drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.