HEALTH chiefs are reminding residents to play it cool as the thermometer rises this week.
Predictions of higher temperatures – reaching the 30s on Wednesday – have prompted medics to issue advice for dealing with the warmer weather.
Dr Paul Wood, from NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The natural reaction to good weather is to get outside to make the most of it and sunbathe like we would on foreign holidays.
“But the danger is that it’s easy to forget to take the same precautions against the sun and heat that we would abroad because of the false sense of security of being at home.
“Sometimes people have a perception that British sun is safer or gentler but it isn’t – so enjoy the warm weather, but make sure you do so safely.”
The CCG – made up of 56 GP member practices in Derby and southern Derbyshire – is advising people take care of themselves and anyone they know who might be particularly vulnerable. This includes older people, the very young, and people with certain medical conditions such as heart or respiratory problems.
To avoid heat exhaustion doctors recommend keeping out of the sun where possible, closing curtains or blinds, keeping your home well ventilated, wearing light clothing, and drinking regularly – ideally water.
Anyone who is going to be spending time outside or who works outdoors are being advised to protect against sunburn and skin cancers, which everyone is equally vulnerable to.
Health advice is to:
· Wear protective clothing that covers as much of your body as possible.
· Wear SPF 30 or higher, broad-spectrum, water-resistant sun cream at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun and reapply every two hours, or more if you’re swimming or sweating.
· Wear a hat to cover your face, neck and ears and remember to protect areas that often get forgotten – like the soles of feet.
Dr Wood added: “Being careful in warm weather doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, it just means there aren’t any painful repercussions or burns for you to have to deal with when the sun goes down.
“Tanning is a temptation – particularly for teenagers – but skin cancer is the UK’s most common cancer, with malignant melanoma being the most deadly form.
“This type of cancer is more common with increasing age, but malignant melanoma rates are disproportionately high in younger people.
“So while a tan might look good for a while the medical risks are really not worth it – and the price of a tan is premature ageing and damage of the skin.”
Hot weather danger symptoms to look out for are:
- feeling dizzy or faint
- shortness of breath
- increasing confusion.
If you have any concerns call 111 or contact your GP for further advice.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Summerhealthhome.aspx