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  • Writer's pictureJane Webber Nutrition

It is hot enough for you? Here some tips for survival

We are in the middle of a heatwave here in much of the UK. Well, England at present because I am typing this blog I can see St Andrew’s in Scotland has rain!

A national emergency has been declared as the temperatures rise to the high 30’s and a red weather warning is in place.

Personally, I am keeping out of the sun during the day, going out early in the morning for my walk and then heading down to the beach early evening.

I forgot to say that I have moved since my last blog and we are now by the seaside after 23 years in the countryside. A complete change of lifestyle and at least we have a cooling sea breeze to help with the heat.

I was contacted by my carpet cleaning guy who said he was suffering from heatstroke so I gave him some advice as it's going to get hotter!

Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2000 heat-related deaths every year.

Why is a heatwave a problem?

  • The main risks posed by a heatwave are:

  • Not drinking enough water (dehydration)

  • Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing

  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

Who's most at risk?

  • A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people – especially those over 75

  • those who live on their own or in a care home

  • people who have a serious or long-term illness – including heart or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson's disease or some mental health conditions

  • those who may find it hard to keep cool – babies and the very young, the bed-bound, those with drug or alcohol addictions or with Alzheimer's disease

  • people who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places – those who live in a top floor flat, the homeless or those whose jobs are outside

Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk

  • Stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool

  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors

  • If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol

  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm

  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat

  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day

  • Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

  • If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice

Thanks to the NHS website, British Heart Foundation for these hints and tips.

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