Enjoy the warm weather safely
For many people seeing the sun shining is a welcome reminder that summer is here but as the hot weather continues, we are urging people across Surrey Heartlands to stay safe and stay well.
Whilst many of us enjoy the sunshine, it’s important to remember that sustained periods of high temperatures do bring health risks, especially to older people, those with certain medical conditions and babies and young children – so it’s important to take steps to stay well and stay as cool as possible as the temperatures soar.
There are some very simple steps people can take to stay safe and well in hot weather:
- Stay as cool as possible by keeping out of the sun and wearing light clothing. If you do need to go outside, try to avoid the hottest part of the day (usually 11am-3pm)
- Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other drinks, avoiding alcohol
- Stay protected by wearing UV sunglasses and a hat – and apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating and UVA protection and walk in the shade if you can
- Check on elderly friends, relatives and neighbours as they will be at greater risk from the heat – and take extra care with babies and young children, who are also more vulnerable to becoming unwell in the hot weather.
Dr Charlotte Canniff, Joint Chief Medical Officer for Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership explains:
It is great to see the sun shining, but as the hot weather continues we know the higher temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially for babies, young children, people with existing health conditions and older people.
Very hot weather can also lead to sunstroke and dehydration - and we often see an increase in hospital admissions during heatwaves - so it’s really important we all do all we can to keep ourselves, and others, safe.
Taking a few simple precautions, like staying inside and keeping cool as cool as possible - and drinking plenty of water to stay well hydrated is easy to do and all really important for everyone.
If you need to go out, try to avoid the hottest part of the day, stay in the shade if possible and use a high factor sunscreen so you are protected.
We also know that extreme temperatures are much more dangerous for older people, those with certain health conditions and babies and young children, so it’s good to check on elderly neighbours and family if you can and take extra care with little ones, who find it more difficult to regulate their heat and can be more likely to become unwell in the hot weather.
By using the right service you can ‘help us, help you’ and together we can keep A&E for those who are seriously unwell and urgently need the help of our frontline teams.
If people do feel unwell in the hot weather the local NHS is here for them – and there are a range of services available to help including:
- Pharmacies - a good place to start for health advice and over-the-counter medicines
- GP practices can also help if you need advice or think you may need to see a doctor
- NHS 111 online at www.111.nhs.uk helps link you up with the service you need (for children under 5 years please call 111 instead) – and NHS 111 by phone 24/7 where a health advisor can help you get the care you need in the right place
- Walk-in centres and urgent treatment centres can also help – see www.nhs.uk for details
- Remember 999 and A&E are for critically ill people so always call or go to A&E straight away if it is a life-threatening situation.
There’s lots more information online to help you stay safe during hot weather. Visit the UK Health Security Agency and NHS websites including their pages on how to beat the heat and on heat exhaustion and heatstroke .