With temperatures set to rise significantly this week a Notts GP has shared his advice on staying protected from the sun.
Temperatures could reach up to 31 degrees between June 24 – 26 and the Met Office has warned of “very high” UV levels.
It is important the public stay safe from the sun, continue to follow the COVID-19 guidance and prevent their local health settings from becoming overwhelmed.
Dr James Hopkinson, a GP at The Calverton Practice and joint clinical leader at NHS Nottingham and Nottinghamshire CCG, has shared his advice for the Nottinghamshire public.
“It is important the public is aware of the dangers from sun exposure and looks after themselves over the next few days during the hot weather.
“This week’s high temperatures could be quite uncomfortable for many people, especially the very young, old and those who may be staying indoors because they’re shielding.
“Each year, during extreme heat, we see people becoming quite unwell and needing urgent medical care. To avoid putting a strain on key health services at a time where we are already under pressure it is important to protect yourself from the sun.
“I would recommend drinking plenty, particularly water, keep your home as cool as possible by closing curtains and avoid being out during the hottest part of the day.
“Even if you’re just in and out of your garden, make sure you cover up when the sun is hottest and apply plenty of sun cream, especially on children.
“If you do start to feel unwell and it’s not an emergency please use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 or your GP, where a trained advisor will help you access the most appropriate care. You can also get health advice and remedies from your local pharmacist, but please don’t go directly to your GP practice, pharmacy or hospital if you think you have coronavirus. Always go through 111 first.
“If a person shows signs of heatstroke it is important you call 999 as this is a medical emergency.”
Public Health England has issued advice on how to stay hydrated, keep your home cool as well as the worrying signs and symptoms to lookout for.
⦁ Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
⦁ If you need to undertake essential travel, ensure you take water with you.
⦁ Wherever possible, avoid physical exertion. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, such as sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day. Keeping hydrated is especially important for people who are unwell with coronavirus and are managing their symptoms at home.
Keep your home cool
⦁ Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight and keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day. At night, open windows if it feels cooler outside but please be mindful of any security issues.
⦁ Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment as they generate heat.
⦁ Go indoors or outdoors during hot periods, whichever feels cooler. If you do choose to go outdoors, please adhere to social distancing guidance.
Look out for signs of heat-related harm
⦁ If you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and 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, for example after sustained exercise during very hot weather), rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks. Most people should start to recover within 30 mins and if not, they should seek medical help. Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms, or if symptoms persist
⦁ Call 999 if a person develops any signs of heatstroke as this is a medical emergency. Further information on heatstroke and heat-related illness are available here.
⦁ 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. This should reduce the risk of sunburn. Click here for more guidance and information.