NHS and the council offer tips to stay cool in the heatwave

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Following the level two heatwave warning from the Met Office health experts and the council are offering tips on how to keep cool and are reminding parents to keep children protected from the sun ahead of the school holidays.

NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Sefton Council are reminding those with breathing conditions in particular to stay cool and avoid the sun at the hottest part of the day if they can. They are also reminding parents to keep their children protected from the heat as we come into the school holiday season.

The Met Office has issued the heatwave alert, with a 40% risk for the North West and say the highest temperatures are expected Tuesday afternoon. There is an 80% probability of heatwave conditions between 12:00 Monday and 18:00 Thursday in parts of England.

For people with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) the sun can cause their bodies to go into overdrive as it tries to stay cool. They can become dehydrated and overheat causing the body to perspire, making them feel more breathless than usual. It is advised that they plan their day around the heat if they can so perhaps avoid going outside during the hottest point which are normally between 11:00 and 15:00.

Also, with the school holidays approaching, parents are being reminded to make sure children have plenty of sun protection. It is important to keep them topped up with sunscreen and put hats on them in the heatwave to protect them from the hot weather.

Nigel Taylor, clinical lead at NHS South Sefton CCG said: “It is important for people to avoid the sun where they can and to drink lots of water to keep hydrated. Keeping your house cool will help with the use of fans and also keeping the curtains closed is a good idea.

“It is important to eat as normal, often the heat makes you lose your appetite but it is important to keep to your normal diet to replace the natural salt in food that you lose through perspiring. If you do become ill during the heatwave we are reminding people to examine their options, there is lots of help out there at your pharmacy and on the NHS 111 number to consider before thinking about going to A&E. Hospitals do become a lot busier when a heatwave hits so it could save you a lot of time.”

Cllr Ian Moncur, Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing at Sefton Council, said: “Like the CCG we are reminding Sefton residents to be careful during the heatwave. We are reminding people to dress wisely for the weather, lightweight, loose fitting clothes are best and wearing suitable headwear and a good pair of sunglasses will really help.

“Take cool showers if you get too hot and where possible avoid heavy activity and slow down when walking around. Before planning a day out in the holidays it would be good to check what the weather is doing as you may need to change your plans slightly or make yourself a bit more prepared.”
Across the area there are a range of health services to support people if they feel unwell or have any health concerns. There are services which you may be unfamiliar with, but could be more appropriate and convenient for you depending on your specific issue.

For minor ailments and injuries your best route to recover is likely to be self-care such as ‘care at the chemist’. More information on examining your options can be found here.

For more information on the weather in your area please visit the Met Office website.

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