SECAmb offers hot weather advice
23 July 2012
With summer weather finally arriving this
week, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
(SECAmb) is reminding people to be sensible and take appropriate
measures to stay safe in the sun.
Temperatures are forecast to reach as high as
30 degrees in the coming days. The sun has arrived in time for the
school holidays and the Olympics with the Olympic road cycling
races and time trials speeding through Surrey from Saturday 28
July. However, the warmer weather also brings with it a likely
increase in certain calls for the ambulance service.
Calls relating to sunburn, dehydration and
heat stroke typically increase although many of these calls can be
avoided if some simple precautions are taken.
High temperatures can also seriously affect
people with long-term conditions such as heart conditions or high
blood pressure. SECAmb is urging these people to be equally
cautious during the hot weather.
Head of Contingency, Planning and Resilience at SECAmb Andy
Cashman said: “It’s great that the summer seems to have arrived and
of course people are going to be keen to get out and enjoy the
warmer weather while it lasts. We’d simply ask that they are
sensible and cover up and use sun cream, drink plenty of water and
use their common sense.
“We’ve got a fantastic few sporting weeks ahead of us starting
with the Olympic cycling coming through Surrey this coming weekend
and people should plan their days out well in advance. If people
are travelling up to London or elsewhere for any events they should
also plan their route well ahead of the day and drink plenty of
fluid to stay cool.”
SECAmb tips for staying safe and
cool this summer
- Stay in the shade or indoors. The sun is at
its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm. Find shade under
umbrellas, trees or canopies. It is worth remembering that the
temperature is at least a couple of degrees cooler if you are by
- Use sunscreen and cover up. If you can't avoid
being out in the sun apply sunscreen (factor 15+) and wear a
t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.
- Increase your fluid intake. The normal
recommended daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per
day. In extreme heat experts recommend you drink more and include a
range of different fluids.
- Keep your home cool. Keep windows closed while
the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the
temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation.
- Look after the elderly. Older people are more
prone to the effects of heat. If you have older relatives or
neighbours you can help simply by checking on them and reminding
them to drink plenty and often. Also help them to keep their house
as cool as possible, using a fan if necessary.
- Protect children. Keep a close eye on young
children, who need plenty of fluids. A good way to check if they
are drinking enough is that they are passing urine regularly and
that it is not too dark. You should check nappies regularly. Babies
and the very young must be kept out of the sun.
- Avoid excessive physical exertion. If you are
taking physical exercise you need to drink half a litre of fluid at
least half an hour beforehand and continue to replenish your fluids
- Know the perils of outdoor eating. Warm summer
weather is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria so it is
especially important to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold
until you are ready to eat them. When barbecuing always make sure
you cook meat until it is piping hot, none of it is pink and all
juices run clear.
- Be sensible with alcohol. Hot weather speeds up the effects
of alcohol so extra care should be taken when drinking. Alcohol
will lead to dehydration so make sure that you alternate alcoholic
drinks with water or fruit juice.
- Keep cool at work. The office is often the
coolest place to be in a heat wave. Ask your boss for
air-conditioning or fans and open windows where possible. Keep
windows shaded with blinds and if possible move your working
position out of direct sunlight. Have plenty of breaks during the
day to get cold drinks and cool down.
Remember, heat stroke can kill. It can
develop very suddenly and rapidly lead to unconsciousness. If you
suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke call 999
While waiting for the ambulance you should
follow the instructions given to you by the ambulance call taker.
The following can also help someone suffering from heat stroke:
· If possible, move
the person somewhere cooler.
ventilation by opening windows or using a fan.
· Cool the patient
down as quickly as possibly by loosening their clothes, sprinkling
them with cold water or wrapping them in a damp sheet.
· If they are
conscious, give them water or fruit juice to drink.
· Do not give them
aspirin or paracetamol.
If you need medical advice or
treatment you can:
· Talk to a
· Call NHS Direct
(0845 4647) – 24 hours or visit http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/
· Visit your GP
surgery or Minor Injury Unit