Advice to help you stay safe and well this summer
As temperatures remain high and are due to rise this week, health experts across the county are advising people to stay safe and well during the hot spell.
Shropshire’s Council’s Stay Safe and Well this Summer webpages offers a host of advice for people young and old, to help keep cool and hydrated throughout the hot weather.
The website also provides advice and information on home and personal safety, and signposts people to other summer-related advice including:
- Summer health – NHS advice on how to stay well throughout the summer months
- Heatwave advice – advice to ensure the hot weather doesn’t harm you or anyone you know
- Insect bites and stings – tips and advice on what do if you’re stung or bitten by an insect
- Skin care – advice on being ‘sun smart’ and help reduce the risk of skin cancer
- Leisure safety – information and advice on water safety, camping and fireworks
- As temperatures on the increase, and Public Health England will be tweeting weather updates and information, including referencing their UV measurements and our UV video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cblhrVTnZUU and blog https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2016/04/18/nine-things-you-need-to-know-about-uv-ultraviolet-radiation/.
Dr Thomas Waite of Public Health England, said:
“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But before the hot weather arrives, it is a really good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat. For some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.”
The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:
- look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
- close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
- wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
- make sure you take water with you if you are travelling.
Lee Chapman, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for adult services, health and social housing, and chair of Shropshire’s Health and Well-Being Board, added:
“With temperatures forecast to rise this week, we strongly advise residents to look after each other in this hot weather. Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can both be very serious if they are not treated quickly, especially for the very young or very old, or for those with long-term illnesses.
“Our ‘Stay Safe and Sell this Summer’ webpages provide lots of information and advice to help you keep well whilst enjoying the lovely weather. I’d therefore encourage anyone seeking summer health advice to visit our pages at shropshire.gov.uk/stay-safe-and-well-this-summer/”
On a hot day, it might seem like a great idea to cool down in open water. However, it is strongly advised to stay out of the water as there are too many risks that you can’t see hidden below the surface. Here are some tips to stay safe:-
- Take notice of warning and guidance signs – water conditions are constantly changing
- Swim parallel with the shore, rather than away from it, and avoid drifting in currents
- Get out of the water as soon as you start to feel cold
- Alcohol and swimming should never be mixed
- If walking or running keep away from the water’s edge, and supervise youngsters at all times
- Don’t use airbeds at open locations where they may be carried into deeper water and may not stay afloat
- Don’t swim near weirs, locks, pipes and sluices
- Only enter water where there is adequate supervision and rescue cover
- Wear recommended safety equipment – for example life jackets/helmets for canoeing
- Don’t jump/dive into open water unless you are sure of the depth and that there are no submerged hazards
- Getting trained in first aid, rescue and resuscitation techniques could save a life
- Ensure children know how to swim and that they do not enter the water alone.
Hayfever is the most common seasonal allergy, affecting one in five of us at some point in our lives, and the symptoms can make life very difficult for sufferers. It can come and go at any time in life so for those that haven’t had it before it can take us by surprise.
With pollen counts also high, Professor Rod Thomson, Shropshire Council’s director of public health, offers advice for hayfever sufferers:
“Although there is no cure for hayfever, there are many over-the-counter remedies available from your local pharmacy to help make life and the condition easier to manage during the summer months. Pharmacists are fully trained health professionals who can offer useful advice on treatments for hayfever, such as antihistamines.
“For those already taking regular medication, pharmacists can advise on the most appropriate treatments that won’t interfere with it. If you’ve tried over-the-counter medicines but are still struggling with troublesome symptoms it may be worth speaking to your GP, as you may need prescription medication.”
Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can be found on NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk/summerhealth. You can also visit your local pharmacy or call NHS 111.
To find your nearest pharmacy in Shropshire visit http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/Pharmacy/LocationSearch/10
For more information on staying safe and well this summer, visit Shropshire Council’s Stay Safe and Well this Summer at https://shropshire.gov.uk/stay-safe-and-well-this-summer/
Public Health England’s (PHE) Heatwave Plan update, advising people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.
Symptoms include sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes as pollen causes the nose, eyes, throat and sinuses to become swollen, irritated and inflamed. As well as seeking advice from your local pharmacist to ease its symptoms, sufferers can take some basic precautions to help prevent hayfever, including applying a small amount of Vaseline (petroleum gel) below the nostrils to trap pollen grains, and wearing wraparound sunglasses to stop pollen getting in the eyes.
It’s also a good idea to take a shower and change your clothes after being outdoors, and try to stay indoors when the pollen count is particularly high (over 50 grains per cubic metre of air).
Antihistamines are commonly used for hayfever. They block the action of the chemical histamine, which the body releases when it thinks it is under attack from an allergen like pollen. Decongestants can also help to relieve a blocked nose which is often caused by hayfever, as well as dust allergies and pet allergies.