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We all look forward to a good summer. However there are occasions when very high temperatures and humidity can present a risk to health, and older people can be particularly susceptible to heat-related illness.
It's important to be aware of friends and neighbours during a heatwave and to let people know if you are on your own and have any concerns. Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition and can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated.
Extreme heat and humidity can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat. Watch out for certain signs: particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, pale skin, heavy sweating and a high temperature.
If you have any of these symptoms you must:
If you’re having difficulty, or your symptoms persist for several hours, seek medical advice. Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated - but it can also develop suddenly and without warning. The symptoms of heatstroke include hot and red skin, headaches, nausea, intense thirst, raised temperature, confusion, aggression and loss of consciousness. Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition.
So if you or someone else shows symptoms:
If you live alone consider asking a relative or friend to visit or phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.
Download the following hot weather advice leaflet produced by the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety.
DHSSPS - Heatwave Leaflet 2013 (PDF 219KB)
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