Please use the following link to view information regarding a heatwave:
Heat can affect your health more than you think, so find out here who is most at risk and how to protect yourself and others.
What are the dangers of the heat?
- Dehydration occurs when the body's water content is reduced. It can prevent the body's systems from regulating themselves and can cause a number of complications.
- Heat exhaustion occurs when the body's temperature rises to between 370C and 400C, causing nausea, faintness and heavy sweating.
- Heatstroke sets in if the body's temperature rises above 400C, preventing the cells and body systems from functioning normally. Those affected may develop rapid breathing, headaches, lethargy, confusion and even loss of consciousness. Unless emergency treatment is given, it can result in multiple organ failure and death.
Who is at risk?
A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:
- Older people, especially over 75.
- Babies and young children.
- People with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems.
- People with mobility problems, for example people who have Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke.
- People with serious mental health problems.
- People on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control.
- People who misuse alcohol or drugs.
- People who are physically active, for example labourers or those doing sports.
What can I do to keep safe in the sun?
- Stay hydrated by keeping water with you and drinking regularly (avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks, which can dehydrate you)
- Avoid excessive physical activity, particularly in the hotter periods of the day. (If you become too hot, running cool water over your hands, wrists and feet and splashing your face can cool you down.)
- Stay in the shade between the hours of 11am and 3pm, when the sun's UV rays are at their most intense. (Keep rooms cool by keeping the windows covered with pale-coloured curtains, material or blinds. Keep windows closed when the outside is warmer)
- Cover up as much as possible, (wear cool, loose clothing and a hat)
- Put sunscreen on exposed skin, and reapply every two hours.
- Wear sunglasses the UV light can damage the eyes and delicate skin around the eyes. Cancer Research UK recommend sunglasses with a 'CE' and 'British Standard' mark and which state that they offer 100% UV protection and carry a UV 400 label.
For further information
- Check the weather forecast and any high temperature health warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk.
- You can get advice on protecting your skin during hot weather from the Cancer Research UK SunSmart campaign.