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Health officials issue warnings for elderly amid heatwave

PUBLISHED: 13:39 23 July 2018 | UPDATED: 13:39 23 July 2018

Elderly and at risk people have been warned to take care in the heatwave. Picture: Getty Image

Elderly and at risk people have been warned to take care in the heatwave. Picture: Getty Image

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With temperatures set to rise above 30C this week, health officials in Norfolk have warned those at risk to take extra precautions.

A thermometer reaching 30 degrees Celsius in Hoveton, Norfolk.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYA thermometer reaching 30 degrees Celsius in Hoveton, Norfolk. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Norfolk County Council’s Public Health team have issued advice and guidance for the elderly and vulnerable in the hot weather. It follows a Level 3 Hot Weather alert for the East of England announced by the Met Office.

Those at greatest risk are people over 75, those with heart or breathing problems and people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control.

A spokesman said: “Stay out of the heat, if you have to go out walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat. Avoid extreme physical exertion and wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

“Check on elderly 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.”

HEATWAVE ADVICE

Stay Out Of Heat

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

• If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat.

• Avoid extreme physical exertion.

• Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Cool Yourself

• Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks. Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content.

• Take a cool shower, bath or body wash.

• Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.

Keep Surroundings Cool

• Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves.

• Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.

• Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space.

• If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping.

Look Out For Others

• Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.

• Check on elderly 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.

Health Problems

• Keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging).

• Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.

Feeling Unwell

• Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache.

• Move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature.

• Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.

• Medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour. Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist.


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