Stay safe, it's hot out there

Stay safe, it’s hot out there

This week is due to be one of the hottest of the year so far with local doctors encouraging people to take care when out in the sun, to protect against sunburn and lower the risk of developing skin cancer in later life.

Dr Ian Tait, GP and NHS Herefordshire CCG Clinical Chair said: “Getting the right amount of sunshine has a number of benefits including providing us with vitamin D, which can benefit people with skin conditions such as eczema and can also help people to feel much better within themselves.

“Although getting out and about in the sun has many benefits, there are also some dangers, including the risk of sunburn if exposed to too much sunlight without taking suitable precautions. Even if it’s cloudy or overcast you can still burn, so make sure you’re prepared whatever the weather.”

“It’s also important look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions, as they are at greater risk of further complications as the weather gets hotter.”

Here are some key things you can do to stay safe in the sun:

  • Use sun cream – apply before you go out into the sun and reapply every two hours. For more information, visit: www.nhs.uk/Livewell/travelhealth/Pages/SunsafetyQA.aspx
  • Wear suitable clothing – a hat, sunglasses and a long-sleeved top if you are susceptible to sun burn.
  • Reduce exposure to direct sunlight during certain times of the day – ideally between 11am – 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Keep your home as cool as possible – shading windows and shutting them during the day can help and open them when it is cooler at night.
  • Make sure to drink plenty of fluids – keep hydrated. Although, this doesn’t include alcohol – this can dehydrate you.

Karen Wright, Director of Public Health for Herefordshire, said: “Much of the advice available on beating the heat during a hot weather is common sense, but for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, an increase in temperatures can bring real health risks. 

“We encourage residents to take the time to check on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be vulnerable this summer.  Advice about how to cope in hot weather, including information on keeping cool and staying hydrated, is available on the NHS website www.nhs.uk/heatwave

If you feel unwell or have any concerns about your sunburn, particularly if you are burnt over a large area, have blistering or swelling of the skin, chills, dizziness, sickness or a high temperature, you can call NHS 111 - available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.