• Date: 12/06/2023

'People over 55 need to protect themselves from the fatal sun'

This week we're urging people over 55 or those with health conditions to keep themselves safe from the sun.

Over the weekend temperatures in Staffordshire rose to as high as 27 degrees. It's why we're issuing important guidance that could help you or your loved one from needing urgent medical attention. 

Service Team Leader, Mark Cliffe said the sun is too much for many and is riskier for someone who's older or who has health problems. 

“Hotter days make it extremely difficult for the body to regulate its temperature,” said Mark.

“It impacts older people because they’re often more likely to have medical conditions or be on medication that can alter the body’s ability to control its temperature.

“It means the risks of heat-related illness like heat exhaustion, dehydration, and heat stroke can be serious if not recognised and treated quickly.”

Mark shares how to stay cool and prevent heat-related illnesses.

“It’s a simple one but make sure you’re drinking plenty of water and prevent yourself from getting dehydrated”, said Mark.

“If you can, stay out of the direct sun and keep indoors or in shade. Keeping blinds and windows closed if the temperature is cooler inside than outside.

“Taking a cool bath or shower can help to bring your body temperature down but don’t shock your body with ice-cold temperatures.”

Mark says knowing what dehydration and heat-illness symptoms are, can help you to act fast to prevent yourself or a loved one from needing medical attention.

“If you get muscle cramps, become confused, feel weak, or are suddenly having issues sleeping then these can all be symptoms of dehydration.

“If you experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, heavy sweating or a fast pulse these can all be symptoms of heat exhaustion.  

“If you have any of these symptoms move yourself to a cool, dark place, remove any tight clothes, drink plenty of water and consider having a cool shower or damping off with a wet flannel.

“If your symptoms don’t improve or get worse after 30 minutes call 111 for advice or call 999 only in an emergency.”

Mark said knowing what to do when you get symptoms can help you from becoming seriously ill and needing to attend hospital.

“Making yourself aware of what to do means you can act before symptoms worsen and medical intervention is needed”, added Mark.

“It's so important to support our NHS where possible and we hope that this guidance can prevent someone from becoming seriously ill and can reduce pressures faced by local hospitals this summer.”

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