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With the sunshine out and COVID restrictions easing it’s important we enjoy the company of others responsibly this summer. Although meeting with people outdoors is the safest way to socialise, it’s important we all be mindful of the scorching sun and record-breaking heat. Stay safe in the sun with these three tips.
Staying hydrated is so important during hot summer days, so make sure you drink plenty of fluid whenever you feel thirsty. For those that can’t rely on their senses to tell when they need to drink, make sure they take regular sips throughout the day. Infants, older people, and those with diabetes are also at a higher risk of dehydration.
Alcohol, tea, and coffee will not hydrate you, so stick to water, fruit juice and soft drinks during hot summer days. Remember, plan ahead and bring plenty of fluid with you for your day out; dehydration can be serious if left untreated for long enough.
It’s difficult to tell if you’ve spent too much time in the sun, as we don’t feel the harmful effects of excess sun exposure until after the damage is done. As well as a sunburn, too much sunlight can increase the risk of skin cancer and contribute to heatstroke. Young children and infants aren’t as resilient to the sun as adults, so it’s important to limit their exposure to the sun too.
To protect your skin, wear cool, loose fitting clothing, sun hats, sunglasses, and SPF 30 sunscreen or stronger when the sun is out. Wherever you spend your time outside, make sure to take regular breaks in the shade, especially during 11:00 and 15:00, as this is when the sun is typically at its strongest.
Heatstroke is a real danger during the hot summer months too and occurs when someone has a high body temperature and cannot cool down. Luckily, heatstroke is easily avoided by taking all the steps we’ve outlined above; limit your exposure to the sun, avoid excess alcohol, stay hydrated, wear cool clothing, avoid strenuous exercise and take cool baths or showers to cool off.
If you are unable to cool down and feel dizzy, confused, thirsty, clammy and your arms, legs or stomach are cramping, you must move to a cool place, lie down, and rest your legs slightly above your body. Drink plenty of fluid, and cool your skin with fans, ice packs and cold water. If you still feel unwell after 30 minutes, have a temperature above 40 Celsius, have lost consciousness or have had a seizure, call 999 immediately.
Stay safe and enjoy the warm weather responsibly this summer!