NHS clinicians in Hull and East Riding are encouraging people to be look after their health in the hot weather as heatwaves hit our region.
The very young, older people and those with serious or long-term illness, including heart or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease or some mental health conditions, are all groups who are most susceptible to the risk of health problems when the weather is hot. In particular, the heat can make heart and breathing problems worse and cause symptoms such as dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and sun stroke.
These however can be prevented by:
- Ensuring you drink plenty of water
- Using shade where possible
- Applying sun cream and keeping this topped up
- Being aware of the extra risks of food poisoning
- Wearing cool, loose clothing and a sun hat
- Avoiding extreme physical exercise
- Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
Dr Anne Jeffreys, local GP and Chair of the NHS East Riding Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Most of us enjoy the sunshine, but for those who are vulnerable, the hot weather can be dangerous. We advise that they avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day between 11am and 3pm. Please ensure to drink plenty of fluids and look out for children, babies and the elderly in particular.
“If you are with someone who does feel unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest and give them plenty of fluids to drink. If they start to display symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps - don’t leave them alone, but seek medical help. If you are unsure, please ring NHS 111.”
Dr James Crick, Associate Medical Director for NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Having a cold alcoholic beverage can be a favourite summer pastime, but we advise people to avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol in the hot weather as this can lead to higher, more dangerous levels of dehydration; drinking plenty of water is the best way to rehydrate.
“In addition, whilst we would encourage you to avoid sunburn by wearing a hat and using a high factor (factor 50+) sunscreen, if you do develop sunburn, or experience insect bites due to being outdoors, or have concerns regarding other minor ailments please consider contacting your local community pharmacy for good advice.”
You can find further advice on how to cope in hot weather on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather. If you are worried about your health, especially if you have a long-term health condition, please contact your GP.