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Heatwave health advice: look out for those who are vulnerable in hot weather and help them keep cool and well

19 July 2016

While most people enjoy sunny weather, very high temperatures are a real health risk for many, especially older people, babies or very young children, and anyone with breathing problems or many other health conditions.

As the temperature rises and a mini-heatwave gets underway, doctors in Bedfordshire are urging people to look out for friends and family who are vulnerable in very hot weather which can make heart and breathing conditions worse and can cause dehydration and heatstroke.

Everyone can take some common-sense measures to help stay well despite soaring temperatures.

NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Group offers some top ways for staying safe in the heat:

·         look out for anyone vulnerable to the effects of the heat,  especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions

·         drink plenty of water – but avoid alcoholic drinks which can make you more dehydrated

·         close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors

·         open windows when it feels cooler outside and it’s safe to do so

·         never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

·         try to keep out of the sun from 11am to 3pm

·         if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat

·         avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day

·         wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes.

There’s lots of health guidance available:

·         See the BCCG website for advice and a printable leaflet on how to Have a Healthy Summer www.Bedfordshireccg.nhs.uk/home/yourhealth

·         More information can also be found on NHS Choices and in the Heatwave Plan for England.

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