During a heatwave like the one we have now, it is important to consider how you can help yourself and someone you care for. High temperatures over more than a day or two can be really uncomfortable and have a significant risk to your health. This is because their bodies may struggle to adapt to working harder, as all our bodies do when the weather gets this hot, and they can become unwell. We have some tips below to help minimise the risk of health problems and to keep your well-being at its best:
Keep out the heat:
- Close curtains on windows that are exposed to the sun.
- Once the temperature outside has dropped lower than it is inside, open the windows.
- Water external and internal plants, and spray the ground outside windows with water (avoid creating slip hazards) to help cool the air. (However, check local drought water restrictions before using hosepipes).
- Advise anyone you care for to stay out of the sun, especially between the hours of 11.00am and 3.00pm.
- Advise them to stay in the shade and to wear hats, sunscreen, thin scarves and light clothing if going outside.
Keep Body Temperatures Down
- Ensure that the person reduces their levels of physical exertion.
- Suggest they take regular cool showers or baths.
- Advise them to wear light, loose cotton clothes to absorb sweat and prevent skin irritation.
- Suggest that they sprinkle their clothes with water regularly, and splash cool water on their face and the back of their neck. A damp cloth on the back of the neck helps temperature regulation.
- Recommend cold food, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content.
- Advise them to drink regularly, preferably water or fruit juice, but avoid alcohol and caffeine (tea, coffee, colas).
- Provide extra care.
- Keep in regular contact throughout the heatwave, and try to arrange for someone to visit at least once a day.
- Be alert.
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/ for more information please see the NHS website.