Healthy tips for surviving the summer sun
During very hot
weather, there are important tips people should bear in mind to help them keep
cool and avoid heat-related illnesses. Fatigue and collapse can occur due to
low blood pressure and blood volume, that result from loss of body fluids and
salts after prolonged exposure to heat.
During extreme summer
weather, not only are daytime temperatures high but temperatures during the
night can also be expected to remain high. These night-time highs stop the body
from cooling down and recovering from its exposure to daytime heat.
Here are the top 10
tips for surviving the summer sun.
Stay in the shade
The sun is at its most
dangerous between 11am and 3pm. You should find shade -under umbrellas, trees
or canopies or indoors. Also, remember that the temperature is at least a
couple of degrees cooler if you are by water.
Use sunscreen and
If you can not avoid
being out in the sun apply sunscreen (factor 15+) and wear a t-shirt, hat and
sunglasses. Be especially careful about kids getting burned.
Increase your intake
The normal recommended
daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per day. In extreme heat
experts recommend that you drink more and include a range of different fluids.
Ventilate your home
Keep windows open all
day and all night and use fans. This is particularly important at night, when
the body cools down.
Look after the
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 of fluids
and often. They should have a mixture of drinks including tea, fruit juice and
water. Also help them to keep their house as cool as possible, using a fan if
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.
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 after exercising.
Be aware of 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.
Alcohol – be
Be aware that 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 heatwave. Ask your employer 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.
measures will help increase protection from heat exhaustion and sunstroke as
well as food poisoning and of course skin cancer. Enjoy the summer weather, but
This information has been complied from a
number of sources, including the Department of Health UK.