Safety in the sun

Thursday June 28, 2018

People in West Sussex are being encouraged to look after themselves, and vulnerable members of the community, as temperatures soar.

High temperatures can be dangerous, especially if people are:

  • Elderly
  • Very young
  • Living with a chronic or long-term medical condition

Doctors in West Sussex are urging people to take simple steps to stay safe in the sunshine and make sure that more vulnerable family members, friends and relatives, can stay cool.

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

  • dehydration (not having enough water)
  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • heat exhaustion
  • heatstroke
  • sunburn

Simple tips include:

  • Try not to go outside between 11am and 3pm, as this is the hottest part of the day.
  • Spend time in the shade and avoid strenuous activity. 
  • Help others: check up on neighbours, relatives and friends who may be less able to look after themselves (for example, if they have mobility problems). 
  • Drink water or fruit juice regularly.
  • Avoid drinking large quantities of tea, coffee and alcohol, and if you do drink alcohol make sure you have lots of water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well. 
  • Keep rooms cool by using shade or reflective material external to the glass, or by closing light coloured curtains.
  • Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside and, if it’s safe, open windows at night when the air is cooler.
  • 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.

If you or anyone else feels unwell, drink water and go somewhere cool to rest. If symptoms, such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness or cramps, get worse or don’t go away, please seek appropriate medical help.

To help us prepare for hot weather, the Met Office has a warning system in place that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely.

Read more about hot weather and your health.

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