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Stay cool in the hot weather

With weather forecasters predicting a hot, sunny week ahead, and the bonus of England football match, health leaders are encouraging people to stay cool.

If you’re combining the footie with a few beers and a BBQ afterwards, remember that alcohol increases your risk of dehydration. Don’t score an own goal; take care to stay hydrated and use sunscreen.  

With temperatures predicted to reach 25°C, sun worshippers are being urged to take it easy in the heat by following this simple advice:

  • Drink cold drinks and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol which can dehydrate you
  • Use sunscreen with a SPF of at least 15, make sure that it is still in date, follow the pack instructions and apply at regular intervals – otherwise it is ineffective
  • Use sunscreen together with shade and clothing to protect your skin from burning – never use sunscreen as a reason to stay longer in direct sunlight
  • Make sure you have water with you
  • Check on elderly and vulnerable neighbours and friends who may find the heat too much. The heat can be dangerous for the very young, older people or those with serious illnesses. In particular, it can make heart and respiratory problems worse.

Dr Preeti Shukla, Clinical Lead at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG said:

“Hot weather combined with a world cup is a great excuse to catch up with friends. Hopefully the party mood will continue after England’s first match, and we’re encouraging everyone to take some basic steps to ensure the party does not end in tears. No one wants a red face on Monday morning, so encourage your mates to wear sunscreen and if you are drinking alcohol don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

“If you feel unwell after being in the sun for some time, it’s a good idea to go somewhere cool to rest and have a cool shower or bath. If you are breathless, or are confused or dizzy, please visit the NHS Choices website, call NHS 111 or seek advice from your local pharmacy.”

The NHS Choices website can be found at www.nhs.uk.

If you still feel unwell after following the advice above, you should make an appointment to see your GP. Your local pharmacy can also help provide over the counter remedies and prescriptions during the season.

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