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16 June 2017, 12:47
South East Coast Ambulance is urging people to be stay safe and sensible in the sun this weekend as the MET office issues a heatwave warning for Kent.
Temperatures set to soar to nearly 30c in Kent on Sunday.
SECAMB says it typically sees an increase in calls about sunburn, dehydration and heatstroke in weather likes this, but says many of these calls can be avoided if some simple precautions are taken.
High temperatures can also seriously affect people with long-term conditions such as heart conditions or high blood pressure. SECAmb is urging these people to be equally cautious during the hot weather.
SECAmb Head of Resilience & Specialist Operations Andy Cashman said: "Of course, we want people to be out enjoying the fine weather but we’re also urging them use their common sense, cover up and use sun cream and drink plenty of water.
"Everyone needs to follow this advice but there are some groups in particular whose health can be badly affected by the hotter weather. These include people with long-term health conditions, the very young and older people. If people know of anyone who could be particularly vulnerable, then we’d ask them to check they’re ok.
"We’re expecting a busy weekend and we’d also ask the public for their support by remembering that 999 should only be dialled in the event of a serious emergency. People can also get health advice from dialing NHS 111 or by speaking to a pharmacist.”
SECAmb tips for staying safe and cool in the sun
' Stay in the shade or indoors. The sun is at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm. Find shade under umbrellas, trees or canopies. It is worth remembering that the temperature is at least a couple of degrees cooler if you are by water.
· Use sunscreen and cover up. If you can't avoid being out in the sun apply sunscreen (factor 15+) and wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
· Increase your fluid intake. The normal recommended daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per day. In extreme heat experts recommend you drink more and include a range of different fluids.
· Keep your home cool. Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation.
· Look after the elderly. Older people are more prone to the effects of heat. If you have older relatives or neighbours you can help simply by checking on them and reminding them to drink plenty and often. Also help them to keep their house as cool as possible, using a fan if necessary.
· Protect children. Keep a close eye on young children, who need plenty of fluids. A good way to check if they are drinking enough is that they are passing urine regularly and that it is not too dark. You should check nappies regularly. Babies and the very young must be kept out of the sun.
· Avoid excessive physical exertion. If you are taking physical exercise you need to drink half a litre of fluid at least half an hour beforehand and continue to replenish your fluids after exercising.
· Know the perils of outdoor eating. Warm summer weather is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria so it is especially important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold until you are ready to eat them. When barbecuing always make sure you cook meat until it is piping hot, none of it is pink and all juices run clear.
- Be sensible with alcohol. Hot weather speeds up the effects of alcohol so extra care should be taken when drinking. Alcohol will lead to dehydration so make sure that you alternate alcoholic drinks with water or fruit juice.
· Keep cool at work. The office is often the coolest place to be in a heat wave. Ask your boss for air-conditioning or fans and open windows where possible. Keep windows shaded with blinds and if possible move your working position out of direct sunlight. Have plenty of breaks during the day to get cold drinks and cool down.