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Heatwave: How to cope in hot weather

Hot weather

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Heatwaves kill more people worldwide than any other extreme weather event. Climate change is already increasing the intensity and frequency of heatwaves. Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks.

In England, there are on average 2,000 heat related deaths every year. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.

Why is a heatwave a problem?
 

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

Who's most at risk?
 

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

Tips for coping in hot weather
 

For more information visit GOV.UK: Heatwave Plan for England.

If you have concerns about an uncomfortably hot house that's affecting your health or someone else's, get medical advice.

Watch out for signs of heat related illness

If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency.

Check for signs of heat exhaustion
 

The signs of heat exhaustion include:

The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although children may become floppy and sleepy.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, they need to be cooled down.

Things you can do to cool someone down
 

If someone has heat exhaustion, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Move them to a cool place.
  2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.
  3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.
  4. Cool their skin - spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good, too.

Stay with them until they're better.

They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.

Immediate action required: Call 999 if:

You or someone else have any signs of heatstroke:

Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly.

Put the person in the recovery position if they lose consciousness while you're waiting for help.

Preventing heat exhaustion and heatstroke
 

There's a high risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke during hot weather or exercise.

To help prevent heat exhaustion or heatstroke:

This will also prevent dehydration and help your body keep itself cool.

Keep an eye on children, the elderly and people with long-term health conditions (like diabetes or heart problems) because they're more at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Information extracted from:

 

Advice for those with pets

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