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Stay safe in the summer heat

Keep well during the heat

With summer upon us, East Kent Hospitals is urging everyone to take sensible precautions to make the most of the warm weather ahead.

The recent heatwave in Kent has led to more people asking for advice about the best way to avoid illness and injury when it gets too hot. Any many have asked how they can protect those who are most vulnerable during heatwaves, such as the very young, very old or those with long-term health conditions.

East Kent Hospitals’ Chief Nurse, Sally Smith, said: “The long summer days provide many with the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves – particularly children who are on holiday.

“But sometimes it’s easy to forget that the increased temperatures can present problems. By taking simple steps, we can all enjoy the summer without risking harm.

“For example, try keeping out of the sun for prolonged periods between 11am and 3pm, drink plenty of water and avoiding physical exertion at the hottest the day.

“I also urge everyone to look out for vulnerable friends, family and neighbours – people who may be less able to look after themselves. Make sure they have enough have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications they need.

“These are all common sense tips but they can make all the difference. And if people can look after themselves in the heat, they can also help the NHS too.”

Sensible advice in hot weather

Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.

Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.

  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. Take water with you if travelling.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, older people, young children or animals.
  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter). Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors. Wear UV sunglasses to reduce UV exposure to eyes and apply a sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection.

Further information:

More information about what KCC is doing to protect the people of Kent is available through www.kent.gov.uk/heatwave

More information about the Heatwave Plan for England is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england

More information on the NHS ‘Cover up Mate’ campaign is available through www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx

Advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses can be sought at a local pharmacist, GP, walk-in centre or Minor Injuries Unit.

The free web app Health Help Now can be used to check symptoms or to find out when and where local services are open. It can be downloaded to mobile phones (from the App Store and Google Play), tablets, laptops and desktop computers from www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net

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