Heat and Sun
Over the past few weeks the UK has been experiencing a summer heatwave. Whilst many of us like to enjoy the sun, we must make sure we do it safely and remember that certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others to the effects of heat or ultraviolet radiation. Our bodies aren’t used to extreme heat and it can force the body into overdrive as it tries to stay cool through perspiration and evaporation. Elderly people are at a higher risk when the hot weather arrives. Over exposure to the sun is equally as dangerous, with effects ranging from skin cancer to mild sunburn.
We want to give you guidance on what to do during an experiencing a heatwave.
Cool yourself down
- Drink plenty of cold fluids to keep the body hydrated and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
- Eat food with high water content, particularly cold foods like salads and fruits
- Take cool showers
- Sprinkle water over the skin or refresh yourself with a damp cloth on the back of your neck
- Avoid too much exercise, which can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke
- Try to avoid been out in the sun between 11am-3pm when the day is at its hottest temperature. Seek shade when possible.
- Wear light weight, light colour clothing with a high factor sunscreen.
Keep your environment cool:
- Your living space needs to keep cool, particularly important for the elderly or those with chronic health conditions
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment as these generate heat.
- Closing blinds and curtains will help to keep your house cool
If you have elderly family members, friends or neighbors please make sure you visit them daily to make sure they are healthy and keeping cool. Health risks can become very high when you are hot and the body starts to become dehydrated.
Please remember it doesn’t have to hot for the UV index to be high.