GPs in Newham are urging people to “be safe in the sunshine” by taking simple precautions to stay healthy and comfortable during the hot weather.
The Met Office has issued a Level 3 heatwave alert for London and parts of the south east, with extremely hot temperatures expected over the coming days.
Hot weather during the summer can be dangerous if you don’t take the right precautions. The following tips will help you stay safe in the hot, sunny weather:
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go outside between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat
- Remain in the shade where possible, particularly if you have fair skin
- Clothing, sunglasses and hats help protect you from the sun. A wide-brimmed hat will help keep your face and neck in the shade
- Wear a high factor sun cream and keep reapplying it generously throughout the day
- Drink plenty of fluids in the sunshine to ensure you’re well hydrated
- If you have a respiratory condition, such as asthma, make sure you have your inhaler on you at all times as the hot weather can inflame your symptoms
- Shut windows and close the curtains or shades when it is hot outside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler
- Have cool baths or showers and splash yourself with cool water
- Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool
- Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you might need
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
Muhammad Naqvi, a local GP and Chair of NHS Newham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said:
“It’s really important to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun. Even on cloudy days, you can still suffer sunburn, so a few simple precautions can make a big difference.
“Make sure you always have sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 30 or above on any parts of you that are exposed to the sun. If in doubt, a pharmacist can advise you.
“You should also wear a hat that shades your face, ears and neck, and loosely fitting clothing to cover up your arms, legs and chest to help you stay cool.
“It’s especially important that elderly people, young children and people with long term conditions, in particular respiratory conditions, stay safe in the heat.
“It is a good idea to take breaks in the shade. This will not only help protect your skin from the sun but will ensure that you don’t overheat and get dehydrated.”
Dr Naqvi added: “If you do suffer sunburn, you can help relieve the soreness by applying an after-sun lotion and you can take some ibuprofen or paracetamol to reduce any pain and swelling. All of these can be purchased at your local pharmacy.
“If you have a more severe burn – skin that is badly blistered and swollen – you should seek medical help from a pharmacist, call NHS 111 or book an appointment with your GP.”