HEALTH leaders in West Lancashire are advising residents to keep cool during the warm weather, by planning ahead and taking precautions while enjoying the sunshine.
With temperatures up to 25 degrees Celsius forecasted in West Lancashire this week, people are being reminded to be aware of the risks of hot weather and to take extra care of themselves and others.
Their top advice for keeping sun-safe includes:
- Staying hydrated: drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
- Physical activity: avoid extreme physical exertion or keep it for cooler parts of the day like early morning or evening.
- Keep your environment cool: use curtains or blinds to keep your home cool, or find the coolest part of your home, garden or outdoor space to sit in.
- Travelling: ensure that babies, children, older people or animals are not left in closed, parked vehicles which can quickly overheat.
- Enjoy the water safely: going for a swim can help you cool down but take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into water.
- Sunburn: try to keep out of the sun at the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm.
- Protect yourself: apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, wear UV sunglasses, a wide-brimmed hat, and loose-fitting clothes.
Dr Peter Gregory, local GP and chair at NHS West Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “While many people will be looking forward to going out and enjoying the warm weather, it’s important to remember that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people.
“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But as the hot weather arrives, it is a really good time to think about what you can do to keep cool and protect yourself, your family and friends.
“At a time when NHS services are still under pressure, taking precautions to keep ourselves safe in the sun will mean that urgent care services are kept available for those who need them most.”
Dr Darran Harris, local GP and PCN clinical director for Ormskirk and Aughton, said: “Although we are less likely to catch COVID-19 in the open air it’s still possible, which is why it’s important still to follow the basics of hands, face and space when meeting with others, as well as taking all the right precautions to protect ourselves from the sun and heat.”
Residents are also reminded to keep an eye on any friends, family or neighbours who may be vulnerable from higher temperatures, such as people shielding indoors from COVID-19, older people, those with underlying health conditions and very young children.
Remember, that while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, you will still need to follow government guidance of ‘Hands, Face, Space, Fresh air’ while looking out for others.
During this period of warm weather, residents are also encouraged to seek medical if they need it by calling NHS 111 first, to help them reach the best NHS service for their need. Visit 111.nhs.uk or call 111 for help.
To find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and when to get help, visit: NHS Live Well.
You can also follow the hashtag #BeatTheHeat on social media, to find updates and information around hot weather alerts from the Met Office and Public Health England.