‘Keep cool and look out for each other’ – GPs advice during predicted hot spell
Health professionals in Suffolk are advising people to keep cool and look out for others during next week’s predicted spell of hot weather.
Temperatures will begin to rise and most areas of the UK will be very warm and humid on Tuesday as southernly air moves in from Spain and North Africa.
Though not always sunny, the exceptional heat could reach 30C (86F) in East Anglia, and the Met Office has indicated a 70% probability of high temperatures between 8am on Tuesday and 8am on Thursday.
While the sizzling temperatures will be welcomed by many, some people will find the weather makes them feel uncomfortable or affects their health.
Older people, people in poor health and the very young are particularly at risk and may find it harder to adapt to the conditions, according to two Suffolk GPs.
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Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "Dehydration in older people can cause dizziness and light headedness and is a major cause of falls.
"Older people often experience a reduced sensation of thirst, meaning they don't realise they need a drink.
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"Family members and carers should be aware of the symptoms of dehydration which includes sluggishness, confusion, dizziness and dark urine. Don't rely on an older person telling you they are thirsty, instead ensure they are having a drink at specific times of day whether they are thirsty or not."
Dr Mark Shenton, a Stowmarket GP and chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: "When the weather is hot you sweat to cool down, meaning you lose more fluid than usual from your body. This can lead to a drop in blood pressure so your heart beats faster. If you have a heart condition it is important that you keep out of the hot sun, stay hydrated, eat cold foods and avoid too much exertion.
"Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight and older infants should also be kept out of the sun as much as possible. Attach a sunshade to your baby's pushchair, make sure your child wears a sunhat and apply a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15 to your baby's skin.
"And please remember, if you use an asthma inhaler don't leave it in direct sunlight or somewhere it could get hot, such as a car glove box. This could prevent it working properly."