Keep well this summer
Be prepared, keep cool, stay connected and keep well this summer
Although most people in North Lincolnshire manage the summer season well, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for adverse weather, the challenges the heat can bring and look out for yourself, your family, friends and those around you.
Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. Before hot weather arrives, it is a good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat. If spending time outdoors remember to take water or other hydrating drinks with you and protect yourself from the sun during the hottest hours of the day, usually between 11am to 3pm.
For some people, especially older people and those with underlying health conditions, the summer heat can bring real health risks. Temperatures indoors can be higher than temperatures outdoors. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.
We have provided some simple information and practical steps you can take to prepare yourself and stay well this summer.
The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:
Check on others
- Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
- Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- If you need to travel, ensure you take water with you.
- Avoid extreme physical exertion. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, such as sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day – for example, in the early morning or evening.
Keeping the home cool
- Keep your environment cool: keeping your living space cool is especially important for those who need to stay at home this summer
- Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight and keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day. External shutters or shades, if you have them, are very effective, while internal blinds or curtains are less effective. Care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat
- If possible and safe, open windows at night if it feels cooler outside
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat
- During the hottest periods find the coolest part of your home or garden/outside or local green space to sit in. If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately.
On car journeys
- Ensure that babies, children, or older people are not left alone in parked cars, which can quickly overheat.
Look out for the signs of heat-related harm
- If you feel dizzy, weak or have intense thirst and a headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink some water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate. Avoid excess alcohol
- If you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms, or abdomen), rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks. Most people should start to recover within 30 mins and if not, you should seek medical help. Call 111 if you feel unusual symptoms, or if symptoms persist
- Call 999 if a person develops any signs of heatstroke as this is a medical emergency.
Further information on heatstroke and heat-related illness are available here.
In warm weather, increasing numbers of people, especially children, can be tempted to cool off in bodies of open water. The temptation can prove fatal, as they put themselves at risk of drowning.
It is important to teach children to spot and keep away from the dangers of open water:
- Despite warm temperatures above the water, below the surface it can remain extremely cold. The cold water shock of falling into the open water may cause panic and the weight of a person’s clothes will make it more difficult for them to swim
- The depth of the water can be unpredictable and there may be hidden currents
- It can be difficult to get out of open water with steep and slimy uneven banks
- It can be deep with hidden shelves and sharp drop-offs close to the bank’s edge
- There may be hidden objects and hazards below the water surface
- There are no lifeguards or lifesaving aids nearby
- The water may be polluted with chemicals and may make you ill.
Further information about water safety is available on the Royal Lifesaving Society UK website.
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when UV radiation is strongest
- If you have to go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes. Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wear a hat. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should reduce the risk of sunburn.
Visit the NHS website for more helpful advice on coping in warmer weather.