15/06/2023 | Press releases

Stay safe during the heatwave

Staying safe in sun is important for everyone whatever your age.

Warm weather is welcome by most, but avoiding a health problem, or even emergency, can be helped through some simple tips during a heatwave for yourself, your family or someone you know in your community.

Babies, older people and those with existing health issues are particularly vulnerable during a heatwave or those who may be bed bound or unable to keep themselves cool. People on multiple medicines may make them more likely to be badly affected by hot weather as well as those working outside in the heat or living in accommodation higher up which is likely to be warmer.

Avoid an unnecessary trip to our emergency department by:

  • keeping hydrated by drinking plenty of cool fluids (and avoiding alcohol and caffeine)
  • stay out of the sun, especially during 11am and 3pm when it’s hottest
  • cool down with a shower or put cool water on your skin or clothes
  • close your windows during the day and open them at night
  • if you do go outside, wear a hat and sunscreen

Signs of heat-related illness or exhaustion

Someone may have heat exhaustion if they’re displaying some of the following signs:

  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • excessive sweating and skin becoming pale and clammy or getting a heat rash, but a change in skin colour can be harder to see on brown and black skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or heartbeat
  • a high temperature
  • being very thirsty
  • weakness

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are often the same in adults and children, although children may become irritable too.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion they need to be cooled down and given fluids.

If you’re concerned about yourself or someone you know who may be experiencing heat exhaustion, call NHS111, visit 111.nhs.uk or in a medical emergency ring 999.

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