Beat the heat this weekend, by taking simple steps to take care of yourself and your family. Temperatures are set to soar to around 28 C in Hull over the weekend, as a new heatwave hits. While most of us welcome warm days and the chance to get outside, high temperatures, dehydration and other factors can put people at risk.
Hull’s Director of Public Health, Julia Weldon, has given her advice for staying well, and looking after vulnerable friends and family members.
She said: “Hot summer days can feel very welcome, but there are a range of risks that come with high temperatures, and some of the things we enjoy doing when it’s warm. Fortunately, it’s easy to strike the balance between making the most of good weather and enjoying ourselves safely.
“Following advice around hydration and protection in the heat, as well as water safety and food hygiene when barbecuing can all ensure we and our loved ones stay well.
“Many of us are in the habit of looking out for friends, family and neighbours who may be more at risk during extreme winter weather and we’d ask people to do the same during a hot spell. Phone or drop in on people you know might be struggling and just check they have everything they need and are managing to stay well”.
The consequences of ignoring safety advice can be serious, even for people who are otherwise well – over exposure to the sun can cause heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Symptoms can include a headache, dizziness and confusion, nausea, cramps, fast breathing or pulse and a temperature above 38C.
Here are top tips from health specialists on staying safe in the sun:
1. Stay hydrated
Lots of cool drinks are the way to go – and nothing is more hydrating than water. Check out these recipes for healthy lollies and smoothies from Healthier Families (formerly Change 4 Life)
2. Alcohol and sun don’t mix
It can be tempting to plan a boozy barbecue but alcohol and the sun don’t mix. Alcohol is a diuretic and can severely dehydrate you. Non-alcoholic versions keep hydration levels high and are perfect for family barbecues. And no hangover!
3. Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day
This is usually 11am-3pm. If you’re outside, stay in the shade and follow our next tips too.
4. Wear sun cream
Don’t even think about going without. Wear a high factor and put plenty on. Don’t forget your face and those hard-to-reach places. Make sure children wear factor 50 and reapply regularly and after they’ve been in water.
5. Cover up
Wear loose-fitting clothes and a hat to protect your skin and head.
6. Barbecue with confidence
Clean your equipment; check food is thoroughly cooked – ideally use a meat thermometer to be sure – and follow advice from the Food Standards Agency around heating leftovers
7. Don’t neglect hand-washing
Whether you’re on a trip out to a farm, barbecuing, having a picnic or getting involved in any summer activity, hand-washing is crucial to kill germs and stop the spread of bacteria
8. think ticks
Ticks are tiny, blood-sucking creatures, which can latch onto humans and animals. They are particularly prevalent this year and, in addition to being unpleasant, can spread the bacterial infection Lyme disease, which can be serious. Check out NHS advice on how to recognise a tick, get rid, and what to look out for with Lyme disease.