People ‘shielding’ indoors from COVID-19 as well as other vulnerable people are being urged to take extra care in the heatwave by health leaders at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG).
Those who are shielding, older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children are all more vulnerable from the higher temperatures and advised to stay out of the hot weather which is set to rise well above 30ºC in the next few days.
Dr Martin Jones, GP and Medical Director at BNSSG CCG said: “This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19, especially those who are shielding as they are at high risk of developing severe infection. It is important that we continue to check up on older people, and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they are living alone and may be socially isolated as we know that a lot of homes can overheat.
“If you need to provide direct care to someone at risk from hot weather, follow Government guidance on how to do this safely. The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and know how to keep their homes cool."
Everyone is reminded to stay safe in the sun: apply sunscreen regularly, stay hydrated, and protect your head from the sun.
Some of the key things we can all consider doing during the hot weather to ensure we enjoy the sun while staying safe, include:
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and older people are particularly vulnerable.
- Stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping.
- Slow down when it is hot: exertion heats up our bodies so plan any strenuous activities (e.g. exercise, gardening) outside the hottest time of the day, typically 11am - 3pm.
- Cool your skin with water, you could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet.
- Stay connected and listen to the weather forecast, knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes.
- Eat smaller meals, more often. Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods.
For more information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke visit the NHS website.