LETTER: Extreme heat can pose health risks

A reader urges others to be aware of how heatwaves can harm our health.

A lady relaxes in the sunshine on the beach in Margate, Kent
A lady relaxes in the sunshine on the beach in Margate, Kent

With heatwaves becoming more frequent during UK summers, it’s important to remember how the heat can affect our health. For the chronically unwell, elderly, or very young, extreme heat can pose significant health risks.

Heat exhaustion is when the body starts to lose too much water and salt through sweating. This may lead to feelings of lethargy, increased thirst, and headache.

Heatstroke is more serious and is where the body is no longer able to cool itself and the body’s temperature becomes dangerously high.

Sunstroke is when this is caused by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight. This can be life threatening but is rare.

To avoid overheating, consume cold drinks regularly, ideally water, and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol as these can further dehydrate the body. Regular cool baths or showers, or splashing your face with cold water, are other useful ways of keeping cool.

Phil Day, Superintendent Pharmacist, Pharmacy2U

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