Staying safe in hot weather

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Although the summer months are what we have all been waiting for and the dark nights are long forgotten, we have to remember that in these summer months it is vital to stay safe in high temperatures.

Elderly people mainly over 75 years of age are more at risk than others of overheating and suffering from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. These problems occur due to elderly people not being able to adjust to sudden temperature changes in the same way younger people do. There are many reasons for this, their bodies may be more dehydrated, chronic medical conditions can change their body responses to heat, prescription medicines can impair their ability to regulate temperature and can actually prevent sweating.

Tips to stay cool

  1. Drink plenty of water all day, don’t rely on thirst and avoid alcohol and caffeine.

  2. Eat light lunches, not heavy hot dishes.

  3. Avoid strenuous activities.

  4. Place damp cool clothes around the back of the neck.

  5. Keep the house cool, windows closed and blinds/shades partially or fully closed at the hottest hours of the day.

  6. Wear lightweight layers of clothing for easy adjustment to changing temperature conditions.

  7. Take cool showers, water below body temperature.

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Signs to look out for

You may be suffering with heat exhaustion or heat stroke if:

  1. Body temperature is over 39.5 degrees centigrade

  2. Red, hot and dry skin

  3. Rapid pulse

  4. Headache, dizziness, nausea, disorientation

Treatment

  1. Move to shaded area.

  2. Loosen tight clothing

  3. Cool body with wet cloths and drink water.

  4. In serious cases call for emergency help.

Over the hotter months make it part of your daily routine to check on elderly friends, family and neighbours to check they are well and if they need any help. For more information on dealing with warmer temperatures click the NHS link here https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/