Stay well this summer

Whilst most of us enjoy the warmer months, hot weather can also cause a number of health issues. Get ready for the summer with our handy guide here.

How to protect yourself from the sun

Warm weather and high temperatures can be dangerous, not only when you are on holiday abroad, but also whilst you are in this country. Make sure you don’t get caught out:

  • Wear sunscreen with a factor of at least 15, and reapply every 2 hours
  • Protect high-risk areas by applying lots of sunscreen to ears, lips and the back of the neck
  • Try to keep out of the sun from 11am to 3pm
  • Wear sunglasses and a wide-brimmed hat
  • Wear loose cotton clothing to help keep you cool and protect your skin
  • Keep hydrated by drinking lots of water
  • Try not to drink too much alcohol and caffeine
  • Remember you can still burn even when its a cooler windy day, or cloudy, mixed with sun.

How to protect babies and children

Babies and children are particularly vulnerable to the sun because their skin is more sensitive. You need to be very careful when you expose them to the sun:

  • Make sure children or babies wear a high protection, factor 5o sun screen, and reapply it regularly
  • Try to use sunscreen brands formulated for babies and children, as they are less likely to irritate their skin
  • Try to keep babies and young children in the shade wherever possible.
  • Ensure children and babies are well covered if they are in the sun. Use hats and sun shades at all times
  • Make sure you never leave babies or young children in a closed, parked vehicle.

Sunburn

If you or your child has redness frrom sunburn, you should cover them up and get out of the sun as soon as possible, head indoors or into a shady area.

You can usually treat mild sunburn at home. Your local pharmacy or NHS.uk can offer advice on preventing and treating sunburn.

Hayfever

The main triggers of hayfever are tree and grass pollen. The pollen count is always higher on hot, dry days so lots of people can suffer with hay fever over the summer months. There are lots of things that you can do to prevent hayfever.

Ask your local pharmacy for advice on the treatments which are available, or visit NHS.uk for more information.

BBQ food safety

We all love a BBQ but food poisoning cases double over the summer. So do be careful. NHS.uk provides lots of tips to make sure your food is safe.

Food poisoning is usually mild, and most people get better within a week. But sometimes it can be more severe, so it’s important to take seriously. Children, older people and those with weakened immune systems are particularly vulnerable to food poisoning.

Most people with food poisoning recover at home and don’t need any specific treatment, although there are some situations where you should see your GP for advice. You can visit NHS.uk for more information about how to treat food poisoning.

Prickly heat

Prickly heat is an itchy rash that can develop anywhere on your body. It usually appears a few days after you have been exposed to hot temperatures. Your local pharmacy and NHS.uk can provide advice about treating prickly heat.

Dehydration

Dehydration is usually caused by not drinking enough fluid to replace what we lose. Hot weather can cause dehydration, so do take care to drink more on warmer days. Babies and small children, older people, people with long-term conditions and athletes are all at greater risk of dehydration.

Visit NHS.uk for advice about how to prevent and treat dehydration.