Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks. However, you can avoid feeling uncomfortable or unwell by making sure you are prepared for summer.
Ensure you stay hydrated – carry a bottle of water with you, especially if you’re heading out for the day or making a long journey. It’s also a good idea to wear cool clothing and stay out of the sun between 11am to 3pm.
If you do feel unwell, use the right health service. A&E departments are for critical or life-threatening situations only. Using the right health service for your needs can prevent you waiting in A&E, and ensure you receive more appropriate treatment more quickly, as well as helping to free up local A&E staff to help those patients with the most serious conditions.
A basic First Aid kit at home can help with minor ailments, such as stomach upsets, allergies, headaches, sunburn and insect bites. For more information simply search for First Aid Kit at www.nhs.uk
Alternative NHS services available to Lincolnshire residents:
Self-care – people suffering from minor ailments such as sunburn and hayfever should treat themselves at home or visit their local pharmacy.
Pharmacies – your local pharmacist is qualified to offer advice on health issues and medication as well as treat headaches, an upset stomach and other common illnesses.
NHS 111 – NHS 111 is a free phone service that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It offers a one-stop number for patients with urgent, but not life-threatening symptoms.
Urgent Care Centres – if you have an urgent or severe but non-life threatening illness then go to an urgent care centre. There are a number of urgent care centres across Lincolnshire and their details can be found on www.choices.nhs
Summer is also the time of year when allergies such as asthma, eczema and hay fever can get much worse, with symptoms including sneezing, coughing, skin rashes and shortness of breath. But there’s no need to get bogged down by runny noses, itchy eyes, irritated skin and tickly throats.
Allergy sufferers can prepare for the warmer months by getting the medicines they need from their local pharmacist. Find out more information about hay fever and allergies from www.nhs.uk
Tips to stay cool and reduce health risks:
• Stay out of direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm (hottest part of the day);
• Always use a sunscreen with a high protection factor;
• Drink cold drinks such as water regularly;
• Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat outdoors;
• Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
You can get more information on staying safe this summer at www.nhs.uk website.