As you will be aware, over the next few days the weather is predicted to be increasingly warm. Please follow the guidance below to ensure you look after yourself and others during this time.
Dr Stephen Munday, Solihull’s Director of Public Health and Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group Governing Body member, advises:
“It is very easy to become dehydrated in hot weather as we can soon lose more fluid than we take in, so drink cold non-alcoholic drinks regularly, keep out of the sun during the hottest times of the day, and avoid physical exertion in the heat where possible. People who are very young, the elderly and those with chronic conditions are more at risk, so keep an eye out for friends and neighbours who may be vulnerable.”
STAY OUT OF THE SUN:
- The hottest part of the day is usually between 11.00am and 3.00pm
- Avoid over exertion through physical activity
- Wear light and loose-fitting clothes and a hat if you go outdoors
- Make sure you carry plenty of water with you if you are out and about or making a journey by car or public transport.
- If you have to go out in the heat, remember to try to walk in the shade and apply sunscreen
- Be aware that certain medications may cause you to be more susceptible to the effects of a heatwave.
- Plan ahead: stock up with supplies so that you don't need to go out during extreme heat and think about what medicines, food and non-alcoholic drinks you'll need.
- Drink water or fruit juice regularly, even if you’re not feeling thirsty. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. If you do drink alcohol make sure you have lots of water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well.
- Eat normally even though you may not be as hungry, you need a normal diet to replace salt losses from sweating. Try to have more cold foods, such as salads and fruit, as these contain a lot of water
- Have a cool shower or bath
- Keep a damp cloth on your neck to help regulate your body temperature.
KEEP YOUR ENVIRONMENT COOL:
- Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside and, open windows at night when the air is cooler, but only if it is safe to do so.
- Watch out for metal blinds as these can absorb heat and become hot
- Consider having external shading placed outside windows to limit the amount of direct sunlight or draw curtains
- Limit use of lights and electrical equipment as these generate heat
- Move into a shaded room as these will be cooler.
CHECK ON OTHERS:
- People with heart problems, breathing difficulties or serious illnesses may find their symptoms become worse in hot weather, so make sure you have enough medicines in stock and take extra care to keep cool. Contact your GP if you have any concerns about your own or someone else’s health.
- Check on your neighbours and vulnerable people as these are at most risk from the effects of heat
- Ensure vulnerable individuals have supplies of food, water and their normal medication
- Ensure pets and infants and elderly are not left in stationary cars
- If you think someone is unwell seek medical attention.
KEEP YOUR FOOD COOL:
When it’s hot, bacteria on food can multiply very quickly, which increases the risk of food poisoning. So, it’s important to make sure food is:
- kept in cooler bags when taking it home from the supermarket or out for a picnic
- put in the fridge as soon as you get home
- kept out of the sun
- kept out of the fridge for the shortest time possible – no more than a couple of hours.
IF YOU ARE FASTING:
- It is important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water
- For further guidance refer to the Ramadan Health Guidance.
Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office.
Further advice on Hot Weather and Heatwave can be found on NHS Choices.