Whist typically very accustomed to complaining about the Great British Summertime (which usually involves a soggy BBQ or three), this year so far seems to have been blessed with sun, sun, sun. However, when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks, with vulnerable people especially at risk.
Those people include:
- The elderly
- Babies and young children
- People with chronic conditions, especially heart or breathing problems
- People with mobility problems – particularly Parkinson’s or who have suffered a stroke
- Those with serious mental health problems
- Those on certain medications, including those that affect sweating or temperature control
- People who misuse alcohol or drugs
- Those who are physically active – labourers or those doing sports
According to health professionals, here are some tips for coping in the hot weather…
- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.
- 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.
- Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.