Keep cool and safe over the next few days

Dr Billy McKee ANL-140717-124538005
Dr Billy McKee ANL-140717-124538005

This advice comes as The Met Office has issued a Level 2 heatwave alert for the East of England for Friday to Sunday.

A Level 2 alert indicates a 60 per cent or more probability of heatwave conditions on two or more consecutive days.

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm.

“These include older people, babies and young children, and people with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems – so looking out for other people is important at this time.”

Dr Billy McKee, a GP in Felixstowe and member of the Governing Body of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group said: “In terms of advice to stay cool in the high temperatures, mostly it’s a matter of common sense.

“Listen to your local weather forecast, and plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill health from the heat.

“Also, keep out of the heat – avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am–3pm) and if you must go out, stay in the shade.

“Wear a hat and light, loose fitting clothes, preferably cotton. And if you’ll be outside for some time – think ahead – and take plenty of water with you.”

Other tips for staying cool:

A loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck, or spraying or splashing your face and the back of your neck with cold water several times a day can help keep you cool.

Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible.

Reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows. External shading, e.g. shutters, is best. Metal blinds and dark curtains may absorb heat and make the room warmer – it is best to use pale curtains or reflective material.

Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation

If you are worried about security, at least open windows on the first floor and above.

Indoor and outdoor plants will help keep your home cool due to evaporation and the shading from trees and bushes.

Take cool showers or baths.

Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty – water or fruit juice are best.

Try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee. They make dehydration worse.

Eat as you normally would. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water.

Seek advice if you have any concerns:

Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS 111 if you are worried about your health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.

Watch for cramp in your arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping.

If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. Seek medical advice if they get worse or don’t go away.

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