Please look out for friends and neighbours who may be more susceptible to some of the problems caused by hot weather.
Coping in the heat
The heat can affect anyone and for some it can be a problem. In hot weather, if you experience symptoms like feeling faint and dizzy, being short of breath or vomiting, take action.
• Cool down as quickly as possible - move to a cool area, loosen or remove excess clothing and apply cool water to the skin
• Drink cold fluids - water or rehydration drinks but not alcohol or caffeine
• Do not take aspirin or paracetamol - this can make you worse. But keep taking all prescribed medicine
• Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS 24 if necessary, especially if you do not feel better rapidly (within 20-30 minutes).
Top tips for keeping cool
• If outdoors, spend some time in the shade and take water with you.
• Wear a hat and light-coloured, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton.
• If inside, stay in the coolest rooms in your home.
• If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen.
• Don't leave anyone in a parked car.
• Avoid extreme physical exertion.
• Keep windows closed when the room is cooler than it is outside. Open windows at night when the temperature outside has dropped.
• Reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows. External shading, like shutters, is best. Metal blinds and dark curtains may absorb heat and make the room warmer - it is best to use pale curtains or reflective materials.
• Take plenty of cold drinks.
• Have cool showers or baths.
• Put a loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck, spray or splash your face with cold water to help keep your body cool.
If you know of anyone who might be vulnerable, help them get the advice and support they need.
Advice for climbers and walkers
If you are taking to the hills in the hot weather, follow MCofS advice.
Stay safe around rivers and reservoirs
Enjoy the great outdoors but safe around rivers, reservoirs and lochs. See Scottish Water advice.
What if someone has heat exhaustion or heatstroke?
In hot weather, the body sometimes produces more heat than it can cope with. Levels of water and salt in the body begin to fall, which can cause a person to feel sick, feel faint and sweat heavily.
If a person with heat exhaustion is taken quickly to a cool shady place, is given plenty of water to drink and has their excess clothing removed, they should begin to feel better within half an hour and have no long-term complications.
Heatstroke is far more serious. It occurs when the body can no longer cool itself and starts to seriously overheat. Cells inside the body actually begin to break down and organs stop working. The symptoms of heatstroke can include:
• mental confusion
• rapid shallow breathing (hyperventilation)
• loss of consciousness
Heatstroke is a medical emergency and should be treated immediately. Dial 999 and request an ambulance if you suspect heatstroke.
For further health information, call NHS 24 on 08454 242424.
For advice on protecting your skin during hot weather visit the Cancer Research UK SunSmart website.
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