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Stay safe in the sun this week

Dr Sonia AshrafWith temperatures soaring this week, people living in Birmingham and Solihull are being urged to take care when in the sun and make sure they and their families follow health advice.

Hot weather is most dangerous for older people, babies and young children, those with chronic conditions, such as heart and breathing problems, as well as those with mobility issues, people taking certain medications and those who are physically active when working or exercising.

As well as staying out of the sun during the hottest period of the day – 11am-3pm – you should ensure you keep hydrated by drinking water and avoid getting overheated.

Other advice includes:

  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice, avoiding alcohol, tea, coffee and drinks high in sugar
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors and don’t forget to wear high factor sun cream if going outside
  • Listen to weather alerts on the radio, TV or social media
  • Plan ahead to ensure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need
  • Shut windows and close blinds or curtains to keep rooms shaded – opening windows when it is cooler outside
  • Have a cool bath or shower, or splash yourself with cool water when feeling hot
  • Avoid extreme exercise
  • Check on relatives or neighbours who may be vulnerable to hot weather.

Dr Sonia Ashraf, a Birmingham GP, said: “During hot weather it is important to take care of yourself and family members by following the advice above.

“If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can include a headache, dizziness and confusion, loss of appetite and feeling sick, excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin, cramps in the arms, legs or stomach, fast breathing or pulse, a temperature of 38C or above or intense thirst, they need to be cooled down by moving to a cool place, getting them to lie down with their feet slightly raised, giving them water or a rehydration drink, and cooling their skin with a sponge or cold pack.

“They should start to feel better within 30 minutes, but if you are concerned seek help by calling NHS 111.”