Heatwave conditions have been forecast for many parts of the UK, with temperatures in parts of West Lancashire reaching 26 degrees this week.
Due to the Met Office’s level 2 alert, which is issued when there is a high chance of temperatures being excessively high on at least two consecutive days, doctors are encouraging people to prepare for the hot weather by taking the necessary precautions.
The main risks that come with a heatwave include dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and overheating, which can make symptoms for people with heart and breathing problems much worse.
To stay safe in the sun, it’s important to:
• Keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
• Regularly apply sunscreen of at least SPF15
• Wear sunglasses
• Wear light, loose-fitting clothing
• Drink plenty of fluids
• Never leave people or animals in a closed, parked vehicle.
Older people and those with long-term illnesses can feel the effects of the heat more than others, with it being well-known that death rates rise during heatwaves.
Dr Jack Kinsey, GP lead at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “While we all look forward to the warmer temperatures of summer, heatwaves pose serious health issues if we don’t take sensible precautions.
“We can all enjoy the sun safely if we remember the simple steps, such as drinking plenty of fluids and regularly applying sunscreen. Remember to look out for older family, children and neighbours, as well as those with long-term illnesses who will be particularly vulnerable to the hotter weather. These steps are simple but can have a dramatic effect.”
To find out more about how you can stay safe in the sun, read NHS England’s Heatwave Plan.