With temperatures set to be high over the weekend, residents across Warwickshire are being urged to look after themselves and others, particularly children and the elderly.
Health experts from Warwickshire’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) are issuing advice to people about how to keep cool in the hot weather, and avoid unnecessary trips to Accident & Emergency services (A&E).
Simple things like keeping the windows closed if it’s cooler indoors than out, drinking plenty of water and juice, and avoiding too much alcohol is very good advice. Wearing loose clothing, and using a cold cloth on the back of the neck helps to keep temperatures down.
If you have children, make sure they are properly hydrated and protected from the sun. Keep an eye out for elderly relatives, or neighbours who are particularly vulnerable to high temperatures.
People are being urged to exercise good judgement on getting the right treatment at the right place, if they do need to seek medical help, as the hot weather is expected to add extra pressures to staff at accident and emergency.
Any measures the public can take to avoid becoming ill in the hot weather will ultimately help the emergency services during this period so that they can continue to provide patient care to those with life threatening and serious conditions.
Dr David Spraggett, GP and Chair of NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Whilst many of us like to enjoy the sun and hot weather, we should make sure we do it safely and remember certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others to the effects of extreme heat. By following simple steps people can avoid any unnecessary health complications and heat related illness.”
Tips and advice to help you stay healthy in the heat:
· Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
· Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
· Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
· Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
· Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
· Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
· Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
· Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
· Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.
· Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
If you think you need medical treatment, see if you could receive it from other NHS health services rather than A&E, for example call NHS 111, GP, visit your pharmacy, Walk-In Centre or Urgent Care Centre, these services can be found at www.nhs.uk
For most minor ailments such as hay fever symptoms, stomach upsets and flu the local pharmacist is the best place to go or you can contact your local GP. If you need medical help fast and it's not an emergency call the new NHS 111 number to get health advice 24 hours a day, seven days of week, including bank holidays. Calls to 111 are free from both landlines and mobiles.
A Walk-In Centre or Urgent Care Centre can also be used for minor illnesses and injuries that don't need a trip to the hospital. A&E should only be for people who are in critical or life-threatening situations for example sudden chest pain or breathlessness