Heatwave: be prepared advice

A heatwave in London and across many parts of the UK has been officially declared by the MET office. Lambeth and Southwark Public Health have issued the following advice:

Stay out of the heat:

• Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.

• If you have to go out, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf.

• Avoid extreme physical exertion and wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Cool yourself down:

  • Have plenty of cold drinks and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content. • Take a cool shower, bath or body wash or sprinkle water over the skin or clothing.

Keep your environment cool:

  • Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves
  • Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature.
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night.
  • If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping.
  • Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C.

Look out for others:

  • Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people to esnure they are able to keep cool.
  • Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars. •
  • Be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed.

If you have a health problem:

  • Keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator (read storage instructions on the packaging).
  • Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications. If you or others feel unwell:
  • Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature.
  • Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate.
  • Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.
  • Medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour, if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist.

To find out more about the different stages of alert and links to Public Health England’s Heatwave plan ‘Heatwave: be prepared‘ has this information and more.

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