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Keeping Cool in a Heatwave

The heat can affect everyone although some people are more at risk than others like babies, older people, and people on medication. It is still important to look after yourself even if you are not in this group because the heat could still affect you. A common problem is being dehydrated and your body can become overheated and this could result in more serious problems such as heat stroke or heat exhaustion. Stay cool by taking cold showers or baths also drink regularly so your body doesn't become dehydrated but stay clear of drinks such as alcohol, tea and coffee. Severe dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Symptoms include:

Headaches
Nausea
An intense thirst
Sleepiness
Hot red and dry skin 
A sudden rise in temperature
Confusion
Aggression
Convulsions and a loss of consciousness

Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated but can also occur suddenly and without warning, if you have any queries or concerns always get advice from your doctor, pharmacist or NHS Direct. NHS Direct can be contacted on 0854 46 47

What you can do

In a heatwave, temperatures can exceed 30˚C there are a number of things you can do to avoid being affected:

1. Keep out of the heat as much as possible 
2. Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible. 
3. Close the curtains in rooms that get a lot of sun. 
4. Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature rises inside and at night for ventilation. If you are worried about security at least open the windows on the first floor 
5. Take cool showers or baths, and splash yourself several times a say with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck. 
6. Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty, water or fruit juice are best. 
7. Try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee as they make dehydration worse. 
8. Eat as you normally would. Try to eat more salads and fruit, which contain water. 
9. If the temperatures are going to be high don't plan a day where you spend most of it outside in the sun 
10. Check out the weather forecast before planning a day out.

It is important to keep yourself cool as the weather gets warmer because the heat can seriously affect our health and could result in both serious short term and long term damage.