Many of us long for the arrival of hot summer days, and maybe even the appearance of a UK heatwave. Yet very hot weather can make it harder to take care of yourself and your loved ones. If stay in the heat for too long, you could find yourself falling ill. People who are most at risk of becoming ill due to heat include:
There’s no one best way to keep cool in hot weather. But if a heatwave does come to Essex, our hot weather tips can help you enjoy the summer months while staying well. We've also got some handy advice on treating common heat-related ailments as well as information on which service to use if you need help.
We'll be sharing these tips on social media throughout June, July and August. Please help us keep people in north east Essex safe by liking, sharing and retweeting!
Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly, or those with chronic health conditions. To keep an eye on the temperature of your home, place a thermometer in the room you spend the most time in during the day, as well as your bedroom. Here are some tips on keeping your home cool:
Read our extra advice on how the most vulnerable residents of Colchester and Tendring can stay well in the hot weather.
If you have been exposed to too much heat and sun, you may begin to feel unwell. Here are some symptoms to look out for.
Signs of heat exhaustion include:
Children may also become floppy or sleepy.
Heat exhaustion isn’t usually dangerous if the person’s temperature can be brought down within 30 minutes. However, if the person doesn’t cool down quickly enough, heat exhaustion can turn into heatstroke, which is more serious.
Visit the NHS website for advice on how to cool someone down and when you should call 999.
The most common symptom of sunburn is inflamed skin that feels hot and is painful to touch. Sunburn can be managed at home by cooling the skin with cool showers or wet towels and treated with moisturiser. Some moisturisers contain soothing aloe vera that can help cool the skin. You should also drink extra water, as sunburn draws fluid away from the body to help repair the damaged skin.
Ibuprofen can also help reduce swelling and help control the pain.
More severe symptoms of sunburn include:
If you experience any of these symptoms, call NHS 111. The operator will be able to assess which NHS service you need.
You should also call NHS 111 if a baby or young child is sunburnt.
Hay fever affects up to 1 in 5 people in the UK at some point in their lives. A lot of people find their symptoms are at their worst in the summer, but there are three different types of pollen that can cause hay fever from March to September.
Most people find that they can get relief from their symptoms with treatment. Hay fever can often be controlled with over-the-counter medication from a pharmacist, but if your symptoms are more troublesome, it’s worth speaking to a GP as you may require prescription medication.
You can also reduce symptoms by wearing wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen while outdoors, taking a shower after being outdoors, staying indoors when the pollen count is high and applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) to the nasal openings to trap pollen grains.
You can get the pollen forecast from the Met Office.
Remember, a pharmacist can help you manage hay fever and treat sunburn, bites and stings. Find your nearest pharmacist in Clacton, Colchester and Tendring with our pharmacy finder. Just input your postcode.
During extreme weather, it's important that we all look out for our neighbours and members of our community that may be more vulnerable. Taking a few minutes to check if a very young, isolated, elderly or disabled neighbour or friend is OK could save a life. Here are a few things to look out for:
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