Stay Healthy In The Heatwave

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NHS Manchester is promoting some top tips for taking care in the hot weather, which is forecast to last for several days.

High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for:

• the elderly,
• the very young, and
• people with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

Dr Sally Bradley, Director of Public Health at NHS Manchester, explains: “Hopefully most of us will enjoy it while it lasts, but the truth is hot weather can be as bad for health as a cold snap.

“For example for people with heart and chest problems it can make their condition worse, while everyone is vulnerable to the effects of staying out in the heat for too long.

“These tips aim to help you enjoy the fair weather while being aware of the risks you should be protecting yourself against.”

Remember:

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• Enjoy the weather but try to stay cool. Avoid going outside between 11am and 3pm as this is the hottest part of the day. Spend time in the shade and avoid strenuous activity.

• Drink water or fruit juice regularly. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. If you do drink alcohol make sure you have lots of water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well.

• Keep rooms cool by using shade or reflective material external to the glass, or if not possible by closing pale coloured curtains. Metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter.

• Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. If safe, open windows at night when the air is cooler outdoors.

• People with heart problems, breathing difficulties or serious illnesses may find their symptoms become worse in hot weather. Make sure you have enough medicines in stock and take extra care to keep cool.

• Help others. Check up on your neighbours, relatives and friends who may be less able to look after themselves (for example, if they have mobility problems).

Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it isn't treated it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal.

If you or any one else feels unwell, drink water and go somewhere cool to rest. If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness, weakness or cramps get worse or don't go away, seek medical help.

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