Take care in the hot weather

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Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks.
children running on a nice day

The very young, older people and the seriously ill are the groups who are particularly at risk of health problems when the weather is very hot. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

We would urge everyone to follow advice from Public Health England on staying safe during the hot weather:

  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • avoid physical exertion
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • drink plenty of cold drinks
  • if you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
  • look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • when at home, try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when safe to do so
  • turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat

Dr Hugh Reeve, Chair of the NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Speak to your GP or a pharmacist if you are worried about your health during hot weather, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.

“Symptoms that may mean you have had too much sun include cramp in your arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping. If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. Seek medical advice if they get worse or don’t go away.”

Cooling off with a swim

Swimming can be a lovely way to cool off when its hot and sunny outside but again it is important to take things seriously and stay safe. You should definitely not jump off bridges and other structures and you should also avoid quarries, reservoirs and other places that are likely to have hidden dangers.

United Utilities have made a very informative video about the dangers of swimming in reservoirs.

For advice on swimming in lakes and rivers go to the Wild Swimming website.

For details of local pools, visit Copeland Swimming Pool and Egremont Swimming Pool.

Published: 19 July 2013 - 9:08am