Six things you need to do to stay safe during the heatwave

 

SUNBURN

Protecting skin from sunburn and skin-cancer-inducing UV rays is crucial.

Always slather protection on to exposed face and body areas before going out on warm days.

Apply SPF15 and top up regularly.

Swerve the sun from noon to 3pm when UV rays are most powerful.

And remember you can still burn when it’s cloudy – so don’t skip SPF on overcast days.

 

DEHYDRATION

Drink plenty of fluids, including tea, water and soft drinks and watch out for tell-tale warning signs such as dark or strong smelling urine, excessive thirst, feeling faint or a dry mouth.

Be especially vigilant if exercising or drinking alcohol in the heat.

Rehydration sachets, from any pharmacy, will quickly replace essential sugar, salts and minerals needed if excess fluids are lost.

 

INSECT BITES

When the sun arrives – so do the bugs.

Saliva from insect bites and venom from stings leave skin red, swollen and itchy. But don’t scratch.

An over-the-counter antihistamine tablet or cream should reduce swelling and itching.

Apple cider vinegar is a natural insect repellent.

Swallow a spoonful daily – or add to food – to reduce bites.

 

PRICKLY HEAT

This red, bumpy hive-like rash is caused by blocked sweat glands and exposure to sunlight.

It often causes a stinging or prickling feeling.

Seek shade or go inside – prickly heat usually reduces as skin cools.

Avoid man-made fibres which can increase sweating.

Choose natural fibres such as cotton.

 

HEAT EXHAUSTION

This happens when a decrease in blood pressure and a loss of body fluid and salts causes nausea, exhaustion and light-headedness.

Heavy sweating, headaches, cramps and dizziness are other common symptoms.

Resting in a cool place and drinking cold water usually eliminates issues within 30 minutes.

Heat stroke is a more serious condition where the body overheats so much it is unable to cool.

Seek medical help if you suspect this.

 

INSOMNIA

Rising night-time temperatures cause perspiration and stops us drifting off.

To cool bedrooms, keep curtains shut in the daytime and open windows.

An electric fan will circulate air to help sweat evaporate overnight.

Choose cotton sheets, which will absorb sweat to help prevent hot skin becoming clammy.

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