With temperatures predicted to continue to rise throughout Lincolnshire over the next few days, and a level 2 heat wave alert issued by the Met Office, it’s important to remember the health dangers associated with a heat wave.
Vulnerable groups such as the elderly, seriously ill and very young are considered to be at most risk, as high temperatures can exacerbate heart and breathing problems.
Dehydration is a key concern and we would encourage those spending time outdoors in particular, to drink plenty of fluids, but avoid caffeine, fizzy drinks and alcohol. Remember, if you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated which left untreated could lead to severe health issues.
Try to stay out of the sun between 11-3pm and wear a high factor sun cream containing UVA and UVB protection.Make the most of the warm weather, but if you are out and about in the county over the next few days, remember to stay sun safe.
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks.
Why is a heatwave a problem?
The main risks posed by a heatwave are:
- overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
- heat exhaustion
Who is most at risk?
A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people in extreme heat are:
- older people, especially those over 75
- babies and young children
- people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
- people with mobility problems, for example people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
- people with serious mental health problems
- people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
- people who misuse alcohol or drugs
- people who are physically active, for example labourers or those doing sports
Tips for coping in hot weather
The following advice applies to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable and reducing health risks:
- 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) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- 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.
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
- Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
- Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
How do I know if someone needs help?
If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink.
If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, seek medical help by calling NHS111