Kent; Advice In The Heat

Summer months are a busy time for the NHS, with soaring temperatures leading to increased numbers of patients suffering heat exhaustion, sunburn and allergic reactions from insect bites.

Being aware and well prepared for the hot weather can help people to stay healthy, cool and protected, says NHS South Kent Coast Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which has released top tips for staying safe in the sun.

To stay safe in the sun,

- Avoid getting sunburnt by using good quality sunscreen
- Drink plenty of water or juice to avoid dehydration
- Stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest, from 11am ? 3pm
- Stay cool by wearing loose-fitting clothes and a hat
- Protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Dr Darren Cocker, Chair of NHS South Kent Coast CCG said: "Our top tips should help people to know how to stay safe while enjoying the summer."

Not all ailments need assistance from an NHS service - a grazed knee, a sore throat, mild sunburn or mild sunstroke may be best treated by staying at home, resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Remember antibiotics do not work on viral infections such as a cough and colds.

Dr Cocker added: "Anyone who needs medical help and advice should call their GP practice first. Many surgeries offer a callback service for patients who urgently need to speak to a doctor. But if the practice is closed, the answerphone will have details of the GP out-of-hours service.

"People sometimes go to A&E because they're not sure what to do. But by phoning the GP or out-of-hours service, they can get the expert care they need in the right place and keep emergency NHS services free for those with life-threatening and serious illness and injuries."