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Hot weather health advice from local GPs

Keep cool and look out for others during the spell of hot weather.

While the hot weather will be welcomed by many, some people will find that the temperatures make them feel uncomfortable or affect 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, so look out for friends and family who may be at risk and think what you can do to help

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. 

“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 GP in Stowmarket 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.”

Follow the latest weather at www.metoffice.gov.uk

Useful hot weather wellbeing advice can be accessed HERE

If you feel unwell you can call NHS 111 anytime for urgent medical help and advice.
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