Staying safe in hot weather

People in BSW are being urged to look after themselves during the current period of hot weather and ensure they are taking steps to look after themselves and stay cool.

They are also being reminded that heat-related conditions can add additional pressures to an already very busy healthcare service and encouraged to use NHS 111 online in the first instance if they feel unwell due to the heat.

Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Keep out of the heat if you can. If you have to go outside, stay in the shade especially between 11am and 3pm, wear sunscreen, a hat and light clothes, and avoid exercise or activity that makes you hotter.
  • Cool yourself down. Have cold food and drinks, avoid alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks, and have a cool shower or put cool water on your skin or clothes.
  • Keep your living space cool. Close windows during the day and open them at night when the temperature outside has gone down. Electric fans can help if the temperature is below 35 degrees. Check the temperature of rooms, especially where people at higher risk live and sleep.
  • For more information visit the GOV.UK website.

Keep an eye out for signs of heat-related illness

  • Heat exhaustion: you will feel very hot and start losing water or salt from your body. Symptoms include feeling weak, faint or sick, muscle cramps, headaches, excessive sweating and thirst
  • Heatstroke is less common but is more serious as the body is no longer able to cool itself due to the temperature becoming dangerously high. If untreated, symptoms may include confusion, seizures and in some cases a loss of consciousness.

What you can do

If you notice someone with signs of a heat related illness, you should:

  • Help them get to a cool place and where they can lie down
  • Remove unnecessary clothing to help their body cool down
  • Use water or a damp flannel to cool their neck and armpits
  • Get them to drink water or lower fat milks
  • Stay with them until they start to feel better

When to call 111

If they start to recover but you are still worried about them, contact NHS 111 for further advice.

When to call 999

If the person is not responding to the cooling treatments after 30 minutes or has heatstroke symptoms such as a loss of consciousness, confusion, or seizures, call 999 immediately.