Thurrock and much of England will be basking in high temperatures this bank holiday weekend, but it's important to take some basic steps to keep well in the sun.
Temperatures are likely to reach the high 20s this weekend and could rise even higher to become a record breaking late August bank holiday for England!
There are things you can do to minimise the effect of the high temperatures. Make sure you do not burn when you are in the sun by wearing a sun screen that protects against UVA and UVB rays and keep hydrated throughout the day. Try to drink around eight glasses of water throughout the day and eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit which contain water.
Plan your day in a way that allows you to stay out of the heat. If possible, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (between 11am and 3pm). Stay in the coolest rooms in your home as much as possible.
Keep windows closed while it is cooler inside your house than outside and keep curtains closed to protect from the glare of the sun. You can use a fan to keep the air moving or, if your lucky, air conditioning to cool your house. It's best to open your windows after the sun goes down or very early in the morning when the temperature outside is cooler. If you are worried about security, only open windows on the first floor and above, or fit security locks that allow windows to be locked in an open position for ventilation.
Have regular showers or baths and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly on your face and the back of your neck.
Heat exhaustion and Heatstroke
Both heat exhaustion and heatstroke are more common during high temperatures. Heat exhaustion is usually not serious if you take steps to cool down immediately, but heatstroke needs to be treated as an emergency. The main signs include:
- dizziness and confusion
- loss of appetite and feeling sick
- excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
- cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- fast breathing or pulse
- temperature of 38C or above
- being very thirsty
Be particularly careful when exercising in hot weather. There is a higher risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke if you exercise in high temperatures. Try to avoid extreme exercise outside or where there is no air conditioning, avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm, and drink plenty of fluids.
For more information on heat exhaustion and heatstroke, click the link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heat-exhaustion-heatstroke/
Other Health tips
See below for more health related tips and tricks to keep healthy and prepared during the hot weather:
- If you need urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed, call NHS 111 and they will make sure you receive the advice and care you need;
- Keep hydrated – if you’re feeling thirsty, lightheaded, dizzy or tired, you may be dehydrated. Make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic cold drinks available and drink enough so that your pee is a pale clear colour. For more on Dehydration: nhs.uk/conditions/dehydration/
- Keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home, with medicines such as paracetamol which can treat a number of everyday illnesses. For more: www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/your-medicine-cabinet/
- Take early action – seek advice from your local pharmacy if you have a long term health condition and are starting to feel unwell before it gets more serious. Further advice can be found at: nhs.uk/staywell
- Use Emergency Services wisely – please only call 999 when it’s a serious injury or a life threatening situation such as unconsciousness, heavy loss of blood, severe chest pain or stroke
- Drink alcohol sensibly – intersperse your alcoholic drinks with water and stick to safe levels;
- Daily/weekly heatwave updates can be found on the Met office website:
If you're planning to go out and enjoy the fine weather, make sure you take these simple measures to keep you and your family safe and prepared during the hot and sunny weather. Don’t forget NHS 111 can organise an out of hour GP appointment when needed.
For more on staying well during hot weather, visit: nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/