Don’t get burned this summer

The morning sun rises
The morning sun rises

GPs in Northamptonshire are urging people to make sure they look after themselves in the sun.

County doctors have come up with a list of tips to make sure people do not expose themselves too much to heat and sun which can be dangerous.

Dr Judith Dawson, GP urgent care lead for NHS Nene Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While most of us enjoy the warm weather, too much exposure to heat and sun can be very dangerous, so it is essential that people know how to stay healthy during the heatwave.

“All of us need to stay safe in the warm weather, by drinking plenty of water, wearing the right sun protection factor, and not spending too much time in the direct sunlight.

“But there are some groups who are especially vulnerable to the heat, including the elderly, people with breathing problems, and children, so it is essential that we all do our bit to help keep both ourselves and others safe in the sun.

“If you are a parent or carer for a child, or if you know a vulnerable older person, please ensure you keep an eye on them during this very hot spell. Others at risk include people with mobility problems, those with serious mental health problems, and people on certain medications.”

Dr Peter Wilczynski, chair designate of NHS Corby Clinical Commissioning Group, added: “The hot weather poses all kinds of potential risks, including dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke. But there are a number of ways you can cope better with the hot weather and prevent yourself from becoming unwell.”

To stay safe people are advised to stay out of the sun especially between 11am and 3pm, the hottest part of the day, if you are vulnerable to the effects of the heat.

Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.

Have cool baths or showers. Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors

If you are out in the sun, use a high sun protection sun cream, at least factor 15, the higher the better. However, no sunscreen, whether it is factor 15 or 50, will give the protection it claims unless you apply it properly, and no sunscreen can give 100 per cent protection. Sunscreen can easily be washed, rubbed or sweated off so re-apply it frequently.

Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

You can also download the Department of Health’s leaflet here Heatwave: looking after yourself and others (PDF, 101kb).