Day Lewis Pharmacy Group – the UK’s largest independent pharmacy multiple – is urging people to keep hydrated, following official weather forecasts of high temperatures and a possible heat wave alert – which could pose health risks. Daytime temperatures could reach 29-30 degrees C, with a night-time minimum of 15-18 degrees C.
While most people enjoy a hot summer, it is important suitable precautions are taken. The heat is especially dangerous for the very young, older people or those with serious illnesses. In particular, it can make heart and respiratory problems worse. In extreme cases, excess heat can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal.
Peter Glover, Day Lewis Superintendant Pharmacist, comments: “Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and if it isn’t treated it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal. To help prevent heat related illnesses during a heat wave, it’s best to stay in the shade wherever possible, and cool yourself down and stay hydrated by having plenty of water to hand, but avoiding caffeine and alcohol.”
Remember that if you must go out into the sun, to wear sun protection and comfortable clothing. It is important we follow the health guidelines, and look after both ourselves and the more vulnerable members of our community to ensure a safe and happy season for everyone.”
Top tips for coping during a heat wave include:
· Keep plenty of water to hand and stay in the shade where possible.
· Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
· Shut and shade windows when it is hotter outside and open them for ventilation when it is cooler outside.
· People with serious health problems (for example heart conditions), should avoid going out in the heat, especially between 11am and 3pm.
· Drink cold drinks like water or fruit juice regularly and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
· Stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with supplies – think of elderly neighbours who may need help with supplies.
· Identify the coolest room in the house to use as a room to cool down or sleep in.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, muscle weakness or cramps, pale skin, and a high temperature. If you find yourself suffering from these, you should move somewhere cool and drink plenty of water or fruit juice. If you can, take a lukewarm shower, or sponge yourself down with cold water.
Contact your Day Lewis pharmacist, your doctor, or NHS Direct if you are worried about your health during a heat wave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.
Day Lewis Pharmacies – Caring for our local communities