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Stay safe in the sun in Lewisham 

Lewisham residents are being urged to stay safe in the sun during the period of above-average temperatures in the UK.

Dehydration poses the main problem, with the risk of people not drinking enough water or overheating.  If someone is dehydrated, this can compound existing health concerns such as heart disease or breathing difficulties.

No one is immune to the effects of hot weather, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • Older people, particularly those over 75.
  • Babies and young children.
  • Those with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • People who experience mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke.
  • People with serious mental health problems.
  • Those on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control.
  • People who misuse alcohol or drugs.
  • Those who are physically active – for example, labourers on a building site or those doing sports.

Senior Clinical Director for NHS Lewisham CCG, Dr Charles Gostling, said: "For most of us, if we take practical steps such as drinking plenty of fluids, we can reduce or even eliminate any problems the heat may cause.

"But for the more vulnerable members of our community, it's not always easy, and the heat can bring real risks.

"That's why we're urging people to keep an eye out for those with underlying health problems and those with young children. They may need some support or advice."

Top tips for staying safe in the heat

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • Drink plenty of water. Remember that sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated.
  • If you start to feel unwell, get dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst, move to a cool place, drink plenty of water and cool your body down – call NHS 111 for advice if necessary.
  • Don't ever leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle – particularly infants, young children or animals.
  • If at all possible, try to keep out of the sun when it's at its most powerful – between 11am to 3pm.
  • Follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down.
  • If you are out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat.
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
  • Take water with you if you are travelling.

For more advice about the heat, visit https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/

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