Hot Weather Safety Advice

Portsmouth should be in for a hot weekend – the met office are predicting a heatwave; but the heat could be dangerous for the old, people with long term health conditions and the very young, and everyone should take extra care.

NHS Portsmouth has issued advice for people to help people stay healthy and keep their homes cool.

  • Stay out of the sun, especially between the hours of 11.00am and 3.00pm
  • If you do need to go out stay in the shade, wear hats, sunscreen, and light clothing.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity like gardening, sport and keep for cooler parts of the day in the morning or evening.
  • Keep curtains on windows exposed to the sun closed while the temperature outside is higher than it is inside.
  • Once the temperature outside has dropped lower than it is inside, open the windows.
  • Water external and internal plants, and spray the ground outside windows with water (avoid creating slip hazards) to help cool the air.
  • take regular cool showers or baths
  • try sprinkling your clothes with water regularly, and splash cool water on their face and the back of your neck. A damp cloth on the back of the neck helps temperature regulation.
  • have cold food, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content.

"We often think about checking on elderly neighbours during the cold months, and keeping an eye on them during a heatwave can be just as important. "said Dawn Saunders, consultant in public health at NHS Portsmouth. "They can become ill before they are able to call for help."

Heat stroke and heat exhaustion an be very serious so keep a look out for symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, drowsiness, faintness and changes in behaviour; increased body temperature; difficulty breathing and increased heart rate; dehydration, nausea or vomiting.

With temperatures in the city are set to rise to 25 degrees on Saturday, and night time temperatures only dropping to around 16 degrees, Portsmouth Hospital's NHS Trust who run the Queen Alexandra Hospital are expecting an increase in attendance in the emergency department. Each year they see people who could have been treated elsewhere, or who need not have become unwell at all.

"Clearly many people will want to go out and enjoy the good weather. We all need to take some simple steps to make the most of the sunshine without harming our health." said Dawn.

"Protect your skin to prevent burning, and guard against long term damage such as skin cancers. Remember to slip slap slop – Slip on a T shirt, slap on a hat and slop on some sunscreen. Use one with a high SPF (factor 15or above). Keep cool and stay inside or in the shade for some of the day- particularly when the sun is hottest between 11am and 3pm.

"And make sure you stay hydrated. Drink non-alcohol drinks throughout the day to make sure you stay".

If you do need medical attention or health advice consider seeking help from other services such as NHS Direct (0845 4647), pharmacy, or the minor injuries units to ease the pressure on hospital services"