picture of a hot woman fanning herself

How to Stay cool in the heat

Zara Crawford
Authored by Zara Crawford
Posted: Thursday, July 14, 2022 - 21:08

How to Stay cool in the heat, by NHS Devon

During the current high temperatures people are being asked to look out for family, friends and neighbours who are more vulnerable during hot weather.  

Older people and people with long term conditions may need help to stay cool, particularly if they live alone. Young children are also vulnerable.

 The NHS advises people to avoid going out and strong physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day and that, if you do need to go out between 11am and 3pm, to apply sunscreen, wear a hat, walk in the shade if possible and bring a drink.

Director of Public Health for Devon Steve Brown said: “Weather like this is something many people look forward to and go out and enjoy, but it’s worth remembering that high temperatures can pose health risks for some people. It’s important to protect yourself and others from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.”

NHS Devon’s Chief nurse Darryn Allcorn said: “If people do suffer sunburn or a heat rash a community pharmacist can help.  If someone is showing signs of minor heat exhaustion the advice is to get them to lie down in a cool place, give them plenty of water to drink and help to cool their skin with a sponge or spray.”

Heat exhaustion symptoms include, a headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite or nausea, excessive sweating and pale clammy skin, cramps, being very thirsty, a high temperature and a fast pulse or breathing.

Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly. You should call 999 if you or someone else have any signs of heatstroke and they are:

  • feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
  • not sweating even while feeling too hot
  • a high temperature of 40C or above
  • fast breathing or shortness of breath
  • feeling confused
  • a fit (seizure)
  • loss of consciousness
  • not responsive
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