Staying Well in a Heatwave
What makes a heatwave?
A heatwave would be declared in our area if the temperature didn’t fall below 30ºC during the day and 15ºC overnight on at least two consecutive days. The Department of Health have published the Heatwave Plan for England 2014 Protecting health and reducing harm from severe heat and heatwaves.
Who’s at risk?
Anyone can be affected by very hot weather and find it difficult to cope with but some people are at more risk than others, including:
- Older people, especially those over 75.
- People with heart, respiratory and serious health problems. The heat can make these conditions worse too.
- Babies and young children.
- People with serious mental health problems.
What to look out for
Danger symptoms to watch out for in hot weather include: feeling faint and dizzy, short of breath, vomiting or increasing confusion.
What should I do?
Mostly, it’s a matter of common sense. Listen to your local weather forecast so you know if a heatwave is on the way. Plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill health from the heat.
Many prescription medicines can reduce your tolerance of heat. You should keep taking your medicines, but take extra care to keep cool.
I think I have heatstroke
Take immediate action if danger symptoms of heatstroke are present:
- Cool down as quickly as possible (read theses tips for keeping cool or read Looking after yourself and others during hot weather).
- Do not take aspirin or paracetamol – this can make you worse. Please note: do carry on taking all other prescribed medicines.
- Seek further advice from NHS 111 (ring 111), a doctor, or ring 999 if the person has collapsed.
Additional advice is available for health and social care professionals supporting vulnerable people before and during a heatwave and care home managers and staff supporting vulnerable people before and during a heatwave.