Stay safe in the sun

By on 04/06/2010 in News

Hot weather can be difficult for all of us, but it can also seriously affect your health if you don't take some simple steps to look after yourself.

• Stay out of the sun
• Wear a hat
• Make sure you drink enough water
• Wear long sleeved loose fitting clothing
• Use sunscreen carefully (ensure you are not allergic to it, make sure
• If you have a long term medical condition like heart disease or diabetes, or you are on medication long term, ask your GP's surgery for advice
• Make sure you read the booklets and information below

Maintaining children's health during hot weather conditions

• Encourage children to eat normally.
• Encourage children to drink plenty of cool water* on hot days.
• *The temperature of water supplied from the cold tap is adequate for this purpose.
• Other actions that can be taken include the following:

•If possible, rearrange school start and finish times to avoid teaching during very hot conditions.
•Use classrooms or other spaces which are less likely to overheat in preference to others, and adjust the layout of teaching spaces to avoid direct sunlight on children.
•Oscillating mechanical fans can be used to increase air movement if necessary.

 Which children are likely to be most affected by high temperatures? Children's susceptibility to high temperatures varies; those who are overweight or who are taking medication may be at increased risk of adverse effects. Children under four years of age are also at increased risk.

Some children with disabilities or complex health needs may be more susceptible to temperature extremes. The school nurse, community health practitioner, family health visitor or the child's specialist health professional may be able to advise on the particular needs of the individual child. Schools need to provide for children's individual needs. Support staff should be made aware of the risks and how to manage them.

Heat stress

People suffering from heat stress will show general signs of discomfort (including those listed below for heat exhaustion). These signs will worsen with physical activity or if left untreated and can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion Signs of heat exhaustion include the following.
• Irritability
• Fatigue
• Dizziness
• Headache
• Nausea
• Hot, red and dry skin.
• Heatstroke

Sweating is an essential means of cooling and once this stops a person can be at serious risk of developing heatstroke. Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion or heat stress is left untreated, but it can also occur suddenly and without warning.

The following steps to reduce body temperature should be taken at once.

• Move the person to as cool a room as possible.
• Sponge the child with cool, (not cold) water and, if available, place cold packs around the neck and in the armpits.
• Place the child near a fan.
• If a child shows signs of confusion, follow the steps above. If a child loses consciousness, place the child in the recovery position and follow the steps above. In both cases, call 999 or 112 for emergency medical assistance.

How can I keep my baby safe during hot weather?
• Advice here http://www.nhs.uk/chq/pages/1955.aspx

How can I keep children safe during hot weather?
•Advice here hpa.org.uk

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