Dr Sara Humphrey, clinical lead for older people at the NHS Bradford district and Craven Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), said: “It’s easy for us to get caught out when the blazing temperatures take us by surprise in Britain
“Most of us want to enjoy the sun. When you are out in the heat for too long it can be harmful so please protect yourself and your family by keeping out of the sun at the hottest time of the day and avoid sunburn.
“Our main advice to everyone is to stay hydrated by drinking at least 1.5 litres a day; and to drink little and often, even if you are not thirsty. Anyone showing signs of dehydration which can include dizziness, breathlessness, confusion or dark yellow urine should seek help from their GP or call NHS111.
“We are also reminding people to look out for others who could be at risk. Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”
Whether on holiday or at home – people can protect themselves by following the Sun Smart messages:
- Spend time in the shade between 11am to 3pm
- Make sure you never burn by taking sensible precautions
- Aim to cover up with a t-shirt, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses (ideally wraparound)
- Remember to take extra care with children
- Then use a factor 15 plus sunscreen.
Anyone taking medication should also consider keeping it in the fridge as most medication should be stored in below 25 degrees Celsius.
Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
People should also think about food safety, as the number of cases of food poisoning doubles over the summer due to undercooked meat and the spreading of germs from raw to cooked food when using the barbecue.
To prevent illness caused by these germs, which include salmonella and E.coli, you could initially cook your food, thoroughly, using an oven and then transfer it to the barbecue for flavour.
Another problem during summer is the increase in pollution levels - this can cause difficulties for people who suffer from asthma or other respiratory conditions. People affected need to monitor all their symptoms regularly, keep an inhaler to relieve symptoms handy, and look out for media announcements on air quality.
More advice about staying healthy during hot weather is available on the NHS Choices website at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/