Rising temperatures in Derbyshire prompt health warning

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Derbyshire County Council is encouraging residents to take extra care, with the temperatures in the county set to rise over the next few days.

There is currently a level 2 weather alert in place which is triggered when the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night to have a significant effect on health.

Even if temperatures do not hit extreme levels it is advisable that people keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.

Derbyshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Communities Dave Allen said: “While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks.

“Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”

Top advice for being sun safe includes:

• Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm

• If you have to go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wear a hat.

• Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn

• Avoid extreme physical exertion

• Drink plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine or drinks high in sugar. If drinking fruit juice, dilute it with water.

• Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content and when travelling ensure you take water with you

• Look out for others: Keep an eye on isolated, older people, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.

• Check on older people or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave. Be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed

• Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C

• if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee.

• If you or others feel unwell seek medical advice

Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too.

Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that face the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when you can.

Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.

For more help and advice visit http://www.nhs.uk/heatwave.