Beat the heat and stay safe

With the hot weather set to continue over the next few days Somerset County Council is urging everyone to take care in the sun and keep an eye out for vulnerable loved ones and neighbours.

The Met Office has forecast continued dry, sunny and hot weather for the South West over the weekend and into next week.

Cllr. Christine Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing at Somerset County Council said: “Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy. But it’s worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people.  It’s important to protect yourself from too much sun or heat.

“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 having plenty of cool drinks with you. Young children or older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, and may feel the effects of the heat more acutely than others.  It’s important to look out for them and where you can keep their indoor areas as cool as possible.”

Top tips:

• look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
• close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
• drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
• never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
• try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
• take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
• walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the sun
• avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
• wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
• make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

Check the weather forecast and any high temperature health warnings at http://www.metoffice.gov.uk

For further information about how to protect your health during the hot weather visit NHS Choices at http://www.nhs.uk/heatwave or call NHS 111

Somerset County Council has produced a video where Sparky the Dragon demonstrates how to keep safe in the sun.