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Heatwave

Most of us enjoy warm and sunny weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks.  High temperatures can be extremely dangerous, and sometimes fatal, especially for:

  • the elderly
  • the very young
  • people with chronic or long-term medical conditions

What are the risksThe main risks posed by a heatwave are:

  • dehydration
  • heat exhaustion and heat stroke

If you're worried about your health during a heatwave, talk to your GP, pharmacist, or visit the NHS website.

Staying safe

Stay out of the heat

  • Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • Carry out strenuous outdoor activities, like DIY or gardening, during the cooler parts of the day (such as early morning)
  • If you must go out, stay in the shade, wear a hat and apply suncream
  • Wear light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton

Stay cool

  • Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home
  • Close the curtains in rooms that get a lot of sun
  • Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than outside; open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation
  • Take cool showers or baths, and splash your face and the back of your neck with cool water regularly.

Do not cool off in open water - this can be extremely dangerous. The only safe place to swim is in a swimming pool.

Drink regularly

  • Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty – water and fruit juice are best
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit which contain water

Seek advice

  • Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or www.nhs.uk if you’re worried about your health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, or have any unusual symptoms;
  • Look after yourself and others, especially those at greater risk such as elderly people and children: symptoms of heat exhaustion include
    • headaches
    • dizziness
    • nausea and vomiting
    • muscle weakness or cramps
    • pale skin and a high temperature
  • If you or someone you know experiences a sudden rise in temperature, confusion or loss of consciousness, heat stroke may have developed
  • If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. Seek medical advice if you get worse or the symptoms don’t go away.

Fasting during a heatwave

During hot weather, dehydration is a common and serious risk when fasting (such as during Ramadan). It is important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water.

Department of Health advice for those fasting:

  • if you start to feel unwell, disoriented or confused, or collapse or faint, stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. This is especially important for older adults and those with medical conditions
  • make sure to check on others in your community who may be at greater risk, including children to ensure they stay safe and healthy
  • the Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed breaking fast in such conditions is allowable under Islamic law

Other Services

Please don’t forget there are many services available for you, depending on your condition. These include:

  • Self-care – This is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries such as hangovers, coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or sore throats. Many of these can be treated at home, simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.
  • Pharmacy – Pharmacists can give advice on and treat a range of symptoms. They can support you with things such as diarrhoea, earaches, painful coughs, sticky eyes, teething and rashes.
  • NHS 111 – You can access 111 online or via the telephone. This is for any urgent but non-life threatening health concerns. They will be able to signpost you to the relevant service and provide advice where appropriate, or book you in to an Urgent Treatment Centre.
  • A&E / 999 – You should only attend A&E or dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency such as severe bleeding, breathing difficulties and severe chest pain.

COVID-19

If you are eligible for your next COVID-19 dose/booster, you will be contacted. Please do not ring the practice regarding your boosters, instead visit https://www.birminghamandsolihullcovidvaccine.nhs.uk/ or call 119 to book an appointment or to find a walk-in clinic near you. You can also find out more about who is eligible, how the vaccine is given and other frequently asked questions. If you are a housebound patient, there is a community team which will be coming out to you to vaccinate you, so please do not contact your GP as the team will be making contact with you.

Your GP practice is open as normal, but certain measures are still place to ensure vulnerable patients are kept safe. GP services remain very busy, delivering more appointments than ever before. Telephone your GP practice and you will be advised accordingly and will receive a telephone or video appointment. Following this you will be advised of the next steps.

If you’re looking to order repeat prescriptions, you don’t need to call your GP practice to do this. You can now do this online or via email to doctors.rowland@nhs.net

If you are feeling unwell or if you have any health symptoms that you are worried about, please call us to make an appointment on 0121 706 2626

You can find further information and advice via the following link 

Your health - Birmingham and Solihull CCG

Non-English Speakers

These fact sheets have been written to explain the role of UK health services, the National Health Service (NHS), to newly-arrived individuals seeking asylum. They cover issues such as the role of GPs, their function as gatekeepers to the health services, how to register and how to access emergency services.

Special care has been taken to ensure that information is given in clear language, and the content and style has been tested with user groups. Open the leaflets in one of the following languages

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