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Be summer savvy for your health

With temperatures soaring this weekend across Birmingham and Solihull, it is important to make sure we look after ourselves and others during the heatwave.

The elderly, babies and young children are more at risk of health complications due to the heat. If you’re a carer, make sure that those you care for drink plenty of water to stay hydrated; dehydration can lead to heatstroke.

Extended exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer, so if you plan on soaking up some rays, it is essential to wear sunscreen which is factor 30 or more. Protecting your eyes with sunglasses or a hat can also help reduce of heat exhaustion and prevent headaches from squinting.

If you’re planning to stay indoors, using shades or reflective materials on the windows can help regulate room temperature, and open your windows for ventilation when it is cooler.

Dr Richard Mendelsohn, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Birmingham and Solihull CCG, said: “Although for most people, heatwaves can be uncomfortable, for some people it poses a risk to their health. By staying in the shade from 11am-3pm, drinking plenty of water and wearing loose, cool clothing, the effects of heat exhaustion can be avoided.

“Carers should also ensure that those they care for drink plenty of fluids, especially during meal times. Foods with high water content, such as jellies, ice cream or fruits like melon can also aid hydration.”

Symptoms of heatstroke and heat exhaustion include headaches; dizziness and confusion; loss of appetite and nausea; excessive sweating; being very thirsty and having a temperature of 38C or above. If yourself or someone you care for is showing these symptoms, it is important to cool them down by moving to a cool place, lying down with feet slightly raised, and to drink plenty of water.

If a person is not better after 30 minutes, has a fit, loses consciousness and is unresponsive call 999.

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