Isle folk warned of heatwave dangers to health

Stay safe in this week’s heat wave by taking sensible precautions, urges North Lincolnshire Council.

Tuesday, 30th June 2015, 9:04 am
Bright sun with rays shining above clouds

Many of us welcome the hot weather, but exposure to the heat and sun for too long can have many health risks, reminds the Council.

Heat can begin to have an effect on people’s health when there is an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius by day and 15 degrees Celsius overnight that lasts for at least a few days.

Those who are very young, the elderly and the seriously ill are most vulnerable and at risk of health problems when the weather is very hot. The heat can make heart and breathing problems worse, in particular.

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Hot weather also increases the risk of:

Dehydration (not having enough water)

Overheating (this makes symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing)

Heat exhaustion

Heat stroke

The following tips apply to everyone 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 if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.

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 as these drinks will contribute to dehydration.

Stay tuned to the weather forecast.

Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies such as water, food and any medications you need.

Identify the coolest part of the house so you know where to go to keep cool.

Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat when you go outside.

Check up on relatives, friends and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

If someone you know feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest and give them plenty of fluids to drink. Seek medical help if symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away.

Frances Cunning, Director of Public Health at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “With the expected hot weather this week in North Lincolnshire we want to make sure people know how to keep safe. We would always advise people not to go out in the sun between the hours of 11am and 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its hottest.

“We understand that people want to take advantage of the hot weather, but it is vital people put their health first. If you have any friends, family or neighbours who are vulnerable please do check on them. Follow the simple steps to stay cool and this will reduce the health risks and means everyone can enjoy the sunshine.”