Tips for coping in hot weather
Information from NHS and AgeUK Oxfordshire
• look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
• stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
• close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
• if going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately
• drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol - aim to drink 6 – 8 glasses of liquid a day, and more if it’s hot.
• never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
• try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
• walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
• avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
• make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
Watch out for signs of heat related illness
If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke.
Symptoms of overheating
Extreme heat and dry conditions can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat. Watch out for certain signs – particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.
Heat exhaustion is fatigue resulting from prolonged exposure to excessive heat. The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, intense thirst, heavy sweating and a fast pulse.
What to do
If you have any of these symptoms you must, if at all possible:
• find a cool place and loosen tight clothes
• drink plenty of water or fruit juice
• sponge yourself with cool water or have a cool shower.
Your symptoms should improve within 30 minutes. If you're feeling better but still have any concerns, call your doctor or pharmacist or NHS 111 for advice.
Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated – it can also develop suddenly and without warning.
The symptoms of heatstroke include:
• loss of consciousness.
What to do
Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition. If you or someone else shows symptoms:
• call 999 immediately
• if you have a community alarm, press the button on your pendant to call for help
• while waiting for the ambulance, follow the advice given for heat exhaustion but do not try to give fluids to anyone who is unconscious.