Keep cool and look out for others during the hot weather.
This advice comes from local health care professionals as The Met Office predicts rising temperatures over this week.
Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Most advice on staying well during hot weather is common sense, but some people run a greater risk of harm, including older people, babies and young children and people with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems. So please look out for others.
“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. This particularly affects those with Alzheimer’s disease or those who have suffered a stroke. Some medicines such as diuretics and laxatives may increase the likelihood of dehydration and those who are incontinent might limit their fluid intake.
“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. The recommendation is six to eight cups of fluid each day, which includes tea, coffee, fruit juice and water.
Professor Mark Shenton of Suffolk’s Integrated Care Academy 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.”
Dr Hasan Chowhan, a GP in Colchester and chairman of NHS North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Babies less than six months 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.”