70 Years of the NHS NHS Kingston

Stay safe in the heat this summer

Stay safe in the heat this summer
23 July 2018

Kingston is urging residents to take care of themselves during the current hot weather.  

While we all want to enjoy the sun and warm weather, Kingston residents should take care to stay out of the sun in peak hours, drink plenty of water and not over exert themselves.

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense, but before it arrives is a really good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat.

For some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

There are several easy steps you can take to beat the heat this summer: 

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • 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 water, as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • 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
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat
  • Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.  
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.   
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.   
  • If you have to go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wear a hat. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn

 

Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a long-term medical condition or taking multiple medications and have unusual symptoms

If you or others feel unwell, seek medical advice.  If you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink some water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee.  If you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, for example after sustained exercise during very hot weather), rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks. We say that most people should start to recover within 30mins and if not, they should seek medical help. Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms, or if symptoms persist.  You can also call NHS 111 for advice and support 24/7. 

 

The hot weather can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people 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

Please look out for friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves - vulnerable people can become dehydrated and unwell very quickly.

For more information please visit www.nhs.uk/stay safe in the heat and follow the Met Office on Twitter at @metoffice  

Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group, 2nd floor, Thames House,
180 High Street, Teddington, TW11 8HU
Tel: 020 39419900
Email: kingstonccg.communications@swlondon.nhs.uk

NHS 111 NHS Choices