How to stay safe during the heatwave
As you may already know, we are leading up to one of the hottest heatwaves ever in the UK, with highs of up to 36 degrees. It’s important to us at AJ recruitment, that we provide you with the best tips and advise on how to stay safe in the sun, whilst also making the most of the glorious weather.
Although most of us welcome the summer sun, high temperatures can be harmful to your health. In one hot spell in August 2003 in England and Wales there were over 2,000 extra deaths than would normally be expected. The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. As our climate changes, hot spells are expected to be more frequent and more intense.
Remember to think of those who may be more at risk from the effects of heat – these include the following:
- Older people, especially those over 75
- Babies and young children
- People with a serious chronic condition, particularly dementia, heart, breathing or mobility problems
- People with serious mental health problems
- People on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control (for example, diuretics, antihistamines, beta-blockers and antipsychotics
- People who are already ill and dehydrated (for example, from gastroenteritis)
- People who misuse alcohol or drugs
- People who are physically active (for example, soldiers, athletes, hikers and manual workers)
What you can do:
- Listen to the news to be aware of when a heatwave has been forecast and how long it is likely to last.
- Check the weather forecast and any high temperature health warnings.
- Look out for neighbours, family or friends who may be isolated and unable to care for themselves; make sure they are able to keep cool during a heatwave.
- Get medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.
- Make sure medicines are stored below 25°C or in the fridge (read the storage instructions on the packaging).
- Carry on taking all prescribed medicines unless advised not to by a medical professional. But be aware that some prescription medicines can reduce your tolerance of heat.
- Avoid being out in the sun during the hottest part of the day (around midday) and plan your day to avoid heavy activity during extreme heat.
- Bring everything you will need with you, such as a bottle of water, sun cream and a hat.
- If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen, and wear a hat and light clothing.
- Be prepared, as heatwaves can affect transport services and you might need extra water.
Be on the lookout for signs of heat related illness – Why this is important?
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are two potentially serious conditions that can occur if you get too hot:
- Heat exhaustion is where you become very hot and start to lose water or salt from your body. Common symptoms include weakness, feeling faint, headache, muscle cramps, feeling sick, heavy sweating and intense thirst
- Heatstroke is where the body is no longer able to cool itself and a person’s body temperature becomes dangerously high. Heatstroke is less common, but more serious. Untreated symptoms include confusion, seizures and loss of consciousness
Temp infographic heatwave