Sun safety tips as UK’s temperatures soar
Sun worshippers may be enjoying Britain's heatwave but the high temperatures pose a series of health risks.
More than 2,000 people died in the UK in just 10 days when a heatwave pushed temperatures to 38.5C (101.3F) in 2003.
With the mercury expected to reach 37C (98.6F) on Friday, health chiefs have urged people to protect themselves to avoid becoming ill.
Here, Sky News looks at some of the health problems associated with the hot weather and how to treat them.
:: Heat exhaustion and heat stroke
According to the NHS, the signs of heat exhaustion include headaches, dizziness, loss of appetite, nausea and having a temperature above 38C (100.4F).
The NHS advises that there are four things to do to cool someone down and they should feel better within 30 minutes:
- Move them to a cool place
- Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly
- Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are okay.
- Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them.
The NHS advises that 999 should be called if there are serious signs of heat stroke which include:
- The sufferer's condition does not improve after 30 minutes
- They feel hot and dry
- They are not sweating despite being too hot
- Their temperature reaches 40C (104F) or above
- They are short of breath
- They have a seizure or lose consciousness
Drinking plenty of cold drinks, taking cool showers, avoiding the sun between 11am and 3pm and avoiding alcohol can help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Symptoms of dehydration in adults and children include:
- Feeling thirsty
- Feeling dizzy or light-headed
- Feeling tired
- Dry mouth, lips and eyes
- Having urine that is dark yellow and strong-smelling
People with symptoms are encouraged to drink fluids, taking small sips until they feel they can drink larger amounts.
Sufferers who are being sick or have diarrhoea and are losing too much fluid need to replenish the sugar, salts and minerals their bodies have lost.
Pharmacists can recommend re-hydration sachets, which are powders that can be mixed with water and then drank.
Sunburn is usually mild and short-lived but health experts say it should be avoided because it can increase the risk of developing skin problems in later life, including skin cancer.
To help relieve symptoms until sunburnt-skin heals, the NHS says:
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- Cool skin by having a cold bath or shower, sponging it with cold water, or holding a cold flannel to it
- Use lotions containing aloe vera to soothe and moisturise your skin
- Drink plenty of fluids to cool down and prevent dehydration
- Take painkillers, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve pain
The NHS encourages people to go to their GP or nearest NHS walk-in centre if their sunburn is over a large area of the body or a person has severe symptoms such as blistering, swelling, dizziness, headaches or nausea.
Special burn cream and burn dressings may be needed for severe sunburn, which is available from GPs.