Summer has finally arrived and whilst we enjoy the good weather with reports of unprecedented prolonged high temperatures there is a danger it may leave some of us feeling wilted.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued a level 3 heat-health alert for London as well as the east and south-east England, meaning action is needed to protect older people, those with chronic health conditions, young children and babies. Health teams in the Midlands and south-west England have also been placed on level 2 alert, meaning there is an 80% chance temperatures could exceed 30C.
The main risks to be aware of during a heatwave are dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.
A heatwave can affect anyone, but those most at risk are older people and people who have a serious or long term illness.
Here are our tips for coping in the hot weather:
Stay Hydrated -drink water regularly through the day, avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can cause you to urinate more frequently. Make sure you take water with you if you are going out or travelling.
Stay Cool Indoors – Keep your curtains/blinds/shutters closed. As a general rule, windows should be kept closed when it is cooler indoors than out, usually when the day is at its hottest, but opened once the daytime temperature drops in the evening and overnight. Use fans or air conditioning units to stay cool. Use a cold flannel to help remove body heat through evaporation or take a shower in tepid water.
Stay in the Shade – If going outdoors, stay in shaded, cooler areas. Use sun hats and sunscreen to avoid sunburn and heatstroke. If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice.
Don’t Bare All – Wear loose, cool, long sleeved clothes to avoid direct sunlight which heats the blood vessels in your skin, sending heat inwards towards your core and raising your body temperature.
Working Out – Exercising in hot weather puts extra stress on your body. Both the exercise itself and the air temperature and humidity can increase your core body temperature. Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day and be aware of your body temperature. Stay well hydrated.
Cooling Down – Submerge your hands in cold water to cool down faster or use ice cubes on the wrists and side of the neck which can help to lower body heat as the blood vessels in those areas are close to the skin’s surface.
Signs of heatstroke include; headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite and feeling sick, excessive sweating, pale clammy skin, cramps in the arms, legs and stomach, fast breathing or pulse, a high temperature of 38C or above, feeling very thirsty.
If you are concerned about yourself or a relative and think they have heatstroke please call your doctor for urgent advice whilst taking the following steps-
- Move them to a cool place.
- Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
- Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
- Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck
Stay with them and call for advice, they should start to feel better within 30 minutes
Founded in 2013, Concierge Medical Practice has progressed to become a national award-winning private General Practice, providing the best healthcare to individual clients and businesses throughout Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, and Oxfordshire.
Our members have a named private doctor, providing on-going continuity of care. Our list size is kept small to guarantee availability and quality. We are a home-visiting practice, our private doctors are readily contactable for home visits, remote consultations, advice and support. Our team pride themselves on offering the highest quality of care to our members. Getting access to medical care at a time that is convenient for you is essential for your health and wellbeing. Our private doctors always have time for our members.
We have a strong network of secondary care and allied health professionals who complement our general practice services and whom we can readily access.
For more information contact us by phone on 01451 600900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.conciergemedical.co.uk.