Hospital Trust issues heatwave advice – North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust

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As we look forward to a few days of sunshine, North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is advising people to be ‘sun-safe’.

With temperatures in Teesside forecast to reach as a high 33°C on Tuesday*, there is a real chance of people falling ill as the effects of the extreme heat takes its toll.

Dr Esther Mireku, the Trust’s consultant in public health, said: “We know everyone will want to enjoy the sun, after all we never seem to get much!

“We just want everyone to be safe, to avoid getting sunburn which can be a real health problem, not become dehydrated and for older and more vulnerable people to remain cool and comfortable as the temperatures rise.”

Dr Esther Mireku, consultant in public health

Sun-safe tips

Check on others
• Check on older people or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during hot weather.

Stay hydrated
• Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
• If you need to travel, ensure you take water with you.

Physical activity
• Avoid extreme physical exertion. Keep any sport, DIY or gardening for cooler parts of the day, in the early morning or evening.

Keeping the home cool
• Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight and keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day. External shutters or shades, if you have them, are very effective, while internal blinds or curtains are less effective. Care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat.
• If possible and safe, open windows at night if it feels cooler outside.
• Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat.
• During the hottest periods find the coolest part of your home or garden/outside or local green space to sit in.

On car journeys
• Ensure that babies, children, or older people are not left alone in parked cars, which can quickly overheat.
• Look out for the signs of heat-related harm
• If you feel dizzy, weak or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink some water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate. Avoid excess alcohol.
• If you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms, or abdomen), rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks. Most people should start to recover within 30 mins and if not, you should seek medical help. Call 111 if you have any unusual symptoms, or if symptoms persist.
• Call 999 if a person develops any signs of heatstroke as this is a medical emergency.

Enjoy the water safely
• During warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief.
• Take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down.

Sunburn
• Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when UV radiation is strongest.
• If you have to go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes. Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wear a hat. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Heat advice

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