Look out for others during the hot weather

Posted: June 24, 2020

Temperatures forecast to soar into the 30s this week

As the temperature is forecast to soar into the 30s this week, local people are reminded to stay safe and look out for others during the exceptionally hot weather.

Public Health England has warned that for some people - those 'shielding' indoors from COVID-19, older people, those with underlying health conditions, and young children - the heat can lead to serious health risks.

Local people are asked to make sure family, friends and neighbours are doing all they can to stay cool.

Tips for keeping cool

  • 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. Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling.
  • Stay cool indoors by closing windows and curtains during the daytime when it's very hot and opening them in the evening to let the cooler air in. Turning off any unnecessary electrical items can also help.
  • Try to avoid strenuous activities (e.g. gardening or exercise) during the hottest part of the day (between 11am -3pm)
  • Protect yourself against the sun's rays and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes, sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors
  • Avoid direct sunlight by staying in the shade where possible if you go outdoors.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves. Make sure you follow the COVID-19 social distancing guidance while looking out for others. Keep 2 metres apart from people outside your household and make sure you wash your hands regularly.
  • Cool your skin with water using a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet.
  • Eat smaller meals, more often. Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods.
  • If you're worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, contact Swindon Borough Council.
  • Listen to the weather forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you're doing.

Advice from a specialist

Tina Phillips, Macmillan Skin Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialist, said:

"Even if you're only in the sun for a short time, it's important to wear plenty of high factor sunscreen (at least SPF 30). Most people don't use enough, so please use plenty and check the expiry date, as last year's may not be as effective.

"It's also important not to rely solely on sunscreen, please cover up with a hat, sunglasses and light, cool clothing made of cotton.

"Getting sunburn is not only painful, getting burnt just once every two years can triple your risk of skin cancer. Cases of malignant melanoma in Wiltshire have been on the rise in recent years, with the number of new diagnoses in the county now above the national average.

"Please be extra careful if you have young children and sit in the shade or stay indoors during the hottest part of the day, usually between 11.00am and 3.00pm."

Further information

Please see the NHS website: Heatwave: how to cope in hot weather (www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather).

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