With hot weather due to hit Bromley this week, the we are reminding people how to stay safe and well while reducing potential pressure on the health system.
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long, there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2000 heat related deaths every year. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.
Tips on coping in hot weather
- look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
- stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
- close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
- make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
- if you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice
For more information visit GOV.UK: Heatwave Plan for England.
Advice on staying hydrated
Signs of heat exhaustion or heatstroke
Heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency. The signs of heat exhaustion include:
– a headache
– dizziness and confusion
– loss of appetite and feeling sick
– excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
– cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
– fast breathing or pulse
– a high temperature of 38C or above
– being very thirsty
The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although children may become floppy and sleepy.
If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, they need to be cooled down.
Things you can do to cool someone down
If someone has heat exhaustion, follow these 4 steps:
1. Move them to a cool place.
2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good, too.
Stay with them until they’re better.
They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.
Call 999 if:
You or someone else have any signs of heatstroke:
- feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
- not sweating even while feeling too hot
- a high temperature of 40C or above
- fast breathing or shortness of breath
- feeling confused
- a fit (seizure)
- loss of consciousness
- not responsive
Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly.
Put the person in the recovery position if they lose consciousness while you’re waiting for help.
Our hydration leaflet – Hydration leaflet- BHCKH0321
Sun, UV and Cancer – cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/sun-uv-and-cancer
Keeping your baby safe in the sun – nhs.uk/conditions/baby/first-aid-and-safety/safety/safety-in-the-sun
Dehydration – nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration
Sunburn – nhs.uk/conditions/sunburn
Sunscreen and sun safety – nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/sunscreen-and-sun-safety