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Coping in Extreme Heat

16 May 2016
 May 16, 2016

With a shortage of hot, sunny days in the UK, it is no wonder that their arrival is welcomed with open arms. Whilst basking in the sunshine is ideal for some, it is very important to recognise when enough heat is enough. High temperatures, especially for long periods of time carry serious health warnings.

Why is extreme heat a problem?

Very hot weather poses risks to anyone, including dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. It can also make heart and breathing problems worse, especially for the very young and the elderly. If you are taking certain medications such as those that control body temperate or sweating, you may wish to take extra precaution when temperatures are high.

8 Tips for keeping cool

The following tips are designed to prevent heat-related illness and help you keep cool and comfortable during hot summers days.

  1. Drink plenty of fluids, regardless of how active you are going to be, avoiding high sugar content drinks – these can cause your body to lose more fluid.
  2. Stay indoors if possible, especially during the hours of 11am and 3pm when the temperature is at its highest. If possible, use air-conditioned rooms or shades to keep the heat away.
  3. Take cool showers or baths to help regulate your body temperature
  4. Wear light-weight and loose fitted clothing, including a hat if you’re going outside
  5. Plan ahead to ensure you have adequate supplies of cold drinks and necessary medication, staying tuned with the weather forecast
  6. Protect yourself from the sun’s rays by applying sunscreen when you are going out
  7. Check on your vulnerable neighbours, friends and family, and look out for signs of heat exhaustion.
  8. Never leave anybody inside a closed vehicle, including pets. Temperatures will increase dramatically in a short space of time

If you notice that someone feels unwell during high temperatures, get them to somewhere cool to rest, giving them plenty of cool fluids and seek medical help if necessary.