With temperatures set to soar over the next few days people may have plans to head to the beach, have a barbecue, go to a park or just soak up the sun at home.
But doctors are urging people to ensure they take a few simple precautions to stay sun-safe as many of us continue to emerge from lockdown.
We are all still being advised to stay at home as much as possible to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), but most people are allowed to leave home to spend time outdoors – for example sitting and enjoying the fresh air, picnicking, or sunbathing.
While people are encouraged to get out and enjoy the sun, they are also being reminded to stay safe, abide by social distancing rules and keep an eye out for more vulnerable people in the community.
Dr Andrew Holden, a GP in Petersfield and the primary care lead for NHS Fareham and Gosport and South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “Weather like this is something many people look forward to every year and go out and enjoy.
“But as well as staying safe and abiding by social distancing rules, it’s important to remember that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people.
“While some of the advice may seem obvious – such as drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun between 11am to 3pm – it’s always good to remind people.
“It’s important to protect yourself from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.”
The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:
- 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 fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
- Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
People may drive to outdoor publicly accessible open spaces, but should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there. Up to six people are allowed to meet outside in public spaces, gardens or other private outdoors spaces – provided those from different households continue to observe social distancing rules by staying two metres apart.
For more information on staying safe in the sun please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/