As temperatures across the country are set to soar over the coming days, the NHS in Lancashire and South Cumbria is encouraging people to take steps to stay safe.
Forecasters are expecting temperatures in the region to rise throughout the week, with many areas in the North West predicted to reach the mid-to-late 20s.
Children, older people and other vulnerable groups can be particularly at risk in higher temperatures, while people with long-term health conditions, such as respiratory and heart conditions, may find that symptoms are exacerbated.
If you are planning on going outside, remember to apply high-factor sunblock and seek shade wherever possible. It is also important to remember to drink plenty of fluids and avoid drinking excess alcohol.
Allergy-sufferers are also reminded to make sure they have their medication with them.
Dr Peter Gregory, associate medical director for NHS Lancashire and South Cumbria ICB, said: “A lot of people will have been disappointed with the lack of sunny days this summer, so they will be keen to make the most of this warmer weather while they can.
“Heat-related ailments, including severe sunburn, heat exhaustion and sun and heat stroke can be extremely serious and often require medical attention. We therefore urge people to plan ahead when venturing outdoors by having plenty of water with you and checking that you have enough sunblock.
“People must avoid leaving children or vulnerable people exposed to high temperatures or strong sunlight for prolonged periods of time, whether that is outside or inside a car – and be mindful that shaded areas often disappear as the day progresses.”
Whether you are going to be outside or you’re staying at home, there are precautions you can take:
- If it’s cooler inside than out, shut and shade your windows.
- If it’s hotter inside than out, open windows for ventilation and try to get air flowing around the home.
- If you're vulnerable to the effects of heat or you have a pre-existing medical condition, try not to go out in direct sunlight between the hours of 11am - 3pm. However, be aware the maximum temperature on a hot summer day almost always occurs after 3pm, typically between 4pm and 5pm.
- Drink cold drinks such as water or fruit juice regularly to stay hydrated, but try to avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
- If you're going outside, stay in the shade, wear a hat, cool, covering clothes and apply sunscreen.
- If you are travelling by car, take regular breaks allowing both the driver and passengers chance to move about and get some fresh air.
- If anyone remains in the car, make sure it is not for a prolonged period and ensure they have access to ventilation and fluids.
- Do not leave children or vulnerable people unattended in a hot car.
- Do not leave pets unattended in a hot car.
For more information on how to cope in hot weather visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather.