The Met Office has forecast soaring heat over the coming days, but knowing how to keep cool – especially for young children or the elderly – can save lives.
The North West Ambulance Service ask that neighbours try to keep an eye on any elderly residents, young children and babies and those who have a heart or respiratory condition such as asthma.
Advanced Paramedic Sam English explains: “As the warm weather is a pleasant change it can create various problems, particularly for the chronically sick, elderly, babies and young children and those who are fasting for Ramadan.
“The biggest risk during these hot spells is dehydration which is often characterised by lethargy, cramps, dizziness or confusion.
“Simple advice surrounds staying in the shade and keeping cool wherever possible, wearing sunscreen and a hat as well as keeping hydrated by taking regular cool drinks.
“This might seem straightforward but this will help prevent the incidents we see every day during the hot weather.”
Some top tips to stay safe in the heatwave include:
Drink lots of water: It is important to keep hydrated as you lose more fluid than you take in during hotter temperatures, this is also vital if you are doing any physical activity and when you are travelling long distances.
Keep out of the sun: It is best to try to stay in the shade between the hours of 11am to 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its hottest.
Wear sunscreen: Apply a sun cream of at least factor 15 that includes UVA protection.
Wear sunglasses: To protect your eyes make sure your sunglasses have UV protection lenses.
Loose clothing: Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes along with a hat.
Never leave babies, young children or animals in a parked vehicle: Temperatures can soar in a parked car very quickly, and children under the age of two are particularly at risk of getting heatstroke or heat exhaustion.
Water safety: Don’t be tempted to take a dip in unsupervised reservoirs, canals, lakes and rivers to cool down, as many people get into difficulties due to hidden dangers such as deep and cold water, debris and underwater currents which can result in drowning.
Keep cool at night: Use lighter bedding such as cotton sheets and always remember to switch off any electric fans before falling asleep to prevent any electrical faults which could create a fire risk.
Call NHS 111 – If you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation call 111 in the first instance.
Services are urgently needed by those who are seriously ill or have life-threatening conditions and the public can help by not calling 999 unless it is an emergency and by helping to take care of themselves and others.