How to cope in hot weather

The MET Office have issued a RED EXTREME HEAT WARNING for Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July 2022 as temperatures are expected to reach 40 Degrees.

How to stay cool and safe during the hot weather.

· Try to stay at home and not go in the sun especially between 11am – 3pm when UV radiation is strongest

· Keep your home cool by having blinds or curtains drawn on the windows exposed to direct sunlight and keep these widows shut.

· Open widows at night if it feels cooler outside

· Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment - they generate heat

· During the hottest periods find the coolest part in the home or garden to sit in. If going outdoors use cool spaces considerably

· Drink plenty of water or fruit juice to stay hydrated. If you are travelling, take water with you

· If you must go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes. Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wear a hat. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should reduce the risk of sunburn.

· void extreme physical exercise. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, such as sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day – for example, in the early morning or evening.

· If you are travelling by car, ensure that babies, children, older people or pets are not left alone in parked cars, which can quickly overheat.

· Look out for elderly relatives and neighbours. Check on them regularly to see if they are feeling alright. Help them to keep cool or call NHS 111 for advice if you are worried about their health.

Heat related medical problems

During extremely hot weather some people may suffer from Heat Exhaustion and the more serious medical emergency condition of Heatstroke. If there is any concern about the impact of the heat on someone’s health, you are advised to call NHS 111.

What to do if someone feels unwell

If they feel dizzy, weak or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Get them to drink some water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate.

If they have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms, or abdomen), rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks. Most people should start to recover within 30 mins and if not, they should seek medical help.

They should call 111 if they feel unusual symptoms, or if symptoms persist. If they cannot call 111, is there someone there who can call for them.

Call 999 if the person has any signs of heatstroke as this is a medical emergency.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it is not treated, it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

  • skin feeling very hot and flushed,

  • heavy sweating,

  • dizziness,

  • fatigue,

  • nausea,

  • vomiting,

  • tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat),

  • mental confusion, and

  • urinating less often and the colour of urine being darker than usual.

If the person or anyone else in the household feels unwell, they should drink water and go somewhere cool to rest. If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness, or cramps get worse or don't go away, they should call their doctor or NHS 111.

Signs of Heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a more serious condition that needs immediate medical attention.

The symptoms of classic heatstroke can develop over several days if you are spending a long time somewhere hot. The symptoms of exertional heatstroke can appear more quickly, usually after physical activity. Symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • high body temperature: having a temperature of 40°C (104°F) or above is a major sign of heatstroke,

  • heavy sweating that suddenly stops: if the body is unable to produce any more sweat then this is a big warning sign that the body has become over-heated and dehydrated,

  • tachycardia (a rapid heartbeat),

  • hyperventilation (rapid breathing), and

  • muscle cramps.

The extreme heat that causes heatstroke also affects the nervous system, which in turn can cause other symptoms such as:

  • mental confusion,

  • lack of co-ordination,

  • seizures (fits),

  • restlessness or anxiety,

  • problems understanding or speaking to others,

  • hallucinations (seeing or hearing things that are not real),

  • loss of consciousness.

Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.

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