Heatwave

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s very hot there are health risks. The very young, and the elderly are particularly at risk. Very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

The Meterological Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely. The following advice applies to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable and reducing health risks:

• Take notice of alerts on the radio, TV and www.metoffice.gov.uk about keeping cool.
• Visit or phone people who are less able to look after themselves, such as older neighbours, relatives and friends, and people with health conditions or mobility problems.
• Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
• Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day).
• 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, and splash yourself with cool water.
• Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. • If you go outside wear sunglasses, a hat and suitable light loose fitting clothing and apply suncream.

IF YOU SUSPECT THAT SOMEONE HAS HEATSTROKE, CALL 999 IMMEDIATELY. HEATSTROKE CAN CAUSE IRREVERSIBLE DAMAGE TO YOUR BODY, INCLUDING THE BRAIN, OR DEATH.