Europe is burning: How to stay safe in hot weather in the UK 2022

How to stay safe in hot weather in the UK 2022

As parts of Europe are preparing for its record-breaking heat in the days to come, it is essential to stay safe in hot weather. The England weather forecasts are already raising concerns that even otherwise healthy individuals may run a risk of disease and death, we thought we could give you some tips to stay safe. Read the blog till the end.

The risky lots as the UK temperature rises

While everyone is in danger from the negative effects of heat on their health, there is the following category of people who are at the potential risk due to the heatwave. 

  • Old age people with chronic and severe illnesses, such as heart or lung diseases, diabetes, renal insufficiency, Parkinson’s disease, or severe mental illness.
  • Socially isolated individuals who live alone or in care facilities
  • Those who show incapacity to change behavior to maintain calm
  • Infants and people with disabilities 
  • Bedridden ones with Alzheimer’s disease

Steps to stay safe in hot weather in the UK 2022

Prepare in advance

It’s important to keep from becoming overheated in the first place. You can therefore prevent situations where you feel dangerously hot by planning in advance. Prevent being outside in the sun at noon when it’s the warmest of the day, and schedule your day to avoid strenuous activities when it’s extremely hot. Bring everything you’ll need, including a water bottle, sunscreen, and a hat. If you must venture outside in the heat, take shaded routes, apply sunscreen, and dress in airy, light clothing. Be ready because heat waves may impact transportation options and need the use of additional water.

Drink a lot of water

It’s crucial to stay hydrated in the heat, so consume lots of liquids. However, it’s advisable to stick to water or other cola-free beverages. According to the alcohol education organization Drinkaware, alcohol can increase sweating in addition to being a diuretic, which causes you to urinate more frequently.

Dress according to the weather

Wearing the right clothing helps keep you cool and shield you from the sun’s rays, preventing heat-related illnesses. If you must be outside in the heat, stroll in the shade and wear cotton clothing that is airy, loose-fitting, and light in color. Wear appropriate headgear, like a hat with a wide brim, to limit exposure to the face, eyes, head, and neck.

Cover your skin when exposed to direct sunlight with clothing that provides adequate protection; examples are long-sleeved shirts and loose garments with a close weave. Wear the least amount of clothing possible at home. Sunglasses should shield the eyes from direct and lateral exposure.

Relax when it's hot

You may be more susceptible to heat-related ailments if you engage in vigorous physical activities. If you must engage in physically demanding outside activities like gardening, or sports, schedule them for cooler times of day, like the morning or evening. Make sure not to involve in strenuous physical exercise on really hot days when temperatures are above 30°C.

Stock up on water without wasting

Hydration is essential in addition to using water to keep your body cool. Dehydration makes you more likely to develop other heat-related conditions because your body can’t sweat or cool down as efficiently. In case of water shortages, keep bottled water on hand or large jugs filled, especially in areas where extreme heat has caused droughts.

Choose swimming

During hot weather, cooling off in swimming pools or bodies of water like rivers, lakes, or the sea can be very refreshing. While this can be a fun activity on hot days, those who do not take the necessary precautions may end up in dangerous situations. Whether you are a seasoned swimmer or not, always keep an eye out for warning and guidance signs. 

Enter the water only in areas where there is adequate supervision and rescue coverage.

Wear a buoyancy aid or lifejacket whenever you are on the water or near the water’s edge (such as when boating or fishing). Never return to the water after eating.

Care for your pets or plants

Heat can also be harmful to pets and plants. If it’s too hot for you, your pet will be too. Aside from keeping your animals cool and hydrated and keeping an eye out for signs of overheating, avoid unprotected walks on hot pavement or asphalt, which can burn paw pads.

Check on those who are vulnerable

Hotter temperatures can harm anyone if they are not careful, but certain populations are more vulnerable, such as the elderly, young children, athletes, people with chronic medical conditions, pregnant women, and those suffering from mental health issues. Heat can also have a psychological impact on people who do not have pre-existing mental health issues.

Check-in on anyone you know who might be at risk and make sure they’re prepared to stay safe. This could include inviting an elderly relative to stay with you, assisting someone in getting to a community cooling center, or dropping by people’s homes to check on their air conditioners and bring them cold drinks.

Cars get hot; avoid crowded areas

Small, enclosed spaces, such as cars, can quickly become dangerously hot. Some people, particularly babies, young children, and the elderly, have a more difficult time staying cool.

If they are reliant on others, they may be unable to relocate to a cooler location. Make certain that babies, children, and the elderly are not left alone in parked cars or other enclosed spaces. In hot weather, keep an eye out for children in prams or pushchairs; keep them in the shade, remove excess clothing, ensure adequate airflow, and check on a regular basis to ensure they are not overheated.

Go inside or outside, whichever feels cooler

It is critical for your health to avoid becoming overheated in the first place. Outside in the shade, it may be more relaxed than inside an overheated building. Move to a cooler part of the house to escape the heat, especially for sleeping. Find some shaded green space, or take a cool bath or shower. Remember that many public buildings such as places of worship, local libraries, or supermarkets can be cool in the summer; consider paying a visit to cool off.

The twin devils of hot weather - heatstroke and heat fatigue

If you can cool off within 30 minutes, heat exhaustion is typically not dangerous. However, it needs to be handled as an emergency if it develops into heatstroke. Despite the fact that youngsters may become floppy and sleepy, the following symptoms are frequently the same in both adults and children. 

  • uncertainty and wooziness
  • lack of appetite and sickness
  • intense sweating, pale, clammy skin 
  • cramping in the arms, legs, or stomach
  • rapid breathing or pulse, and extreme thirst

Those who show symptoms of heat exhaustion should be cooled down immediately by making them sit in a cool place, and probably getting them to lie down with their feet lifted a bit. The person should be encouraged to sip water frequently or rehydration beverages or spray or sponge them with cool water to cool their skin, then fan them. Try placing cold packs around the armpits and neck areas. Till they recover, stick by them. Within 30 minutes, they ought to begin to feel better and cool down.

Seek assistance. In an emergency, dial 999 or NHS 111

Each year, the UK Health Security Agency sees excess deaths during periods of extremely hot weather. Severe heat exhaustion or heatstroke necessitates hospitalization. If you or someone else shows signs of heatstroke, shortness of breath or seizures, loss of consciousness, and inability to respond, heatstrokes, dial 111.

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