Take care in the sun as temperatures soar

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As weather forecasters predict a return of the blistering heat in Scotland, health experts are advising people to remember to take care in the sun.

Some parts of Britian have already seen a rise in the number of people accessing healthcare as a result of the soaring temperatures, and in a small number of cases the hot weather has resulted in death.

Doctors in Glasgow and Clyde are advising people to remember to take care in the sun, particularly the very young, the very old and those with chronic diseases.

It is not just sun-burn, dehydration and hayfever which people need to be mindful of but the hot weather can affect people with respiratory problems, particularly the elderly.

Doctors are also asking people to access their local health services appropriately ensuring those patients who require emergency medical care are being seen as quickly as possible.

Alastair Ireland, Clinical Director, Emergency Care and Medical Services at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, said: “This weekend is expected to one of the warmest we have had for a number of years. We want everyone to enjoy their time in the sun but people need to be sensible and take precautions which will ensure they stay healthy while enjoying the weather.

“People should try to avoid being in direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day between noon and 3pm. Replenishing fluids is really important as everyone runs the risk of becoming relatively dehydrated in this heat and everyone should be particularly careful to take extra liquids, cold tap water is ideal, at regular intervals.

“If people do feel unwell they should contact their GP or NHS 24 in the first instance. Accident and emergency departments across the country have seen a number of patients attend who have had a bit too much sun but who could have been seen by their GP or given advice by NHS 24.

“By accessing the appropriate healthcare service people who require Accident and Emergency treatment will be seen and treated quicker.”

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Director of Public Health has also called for people to look after their skin in the sun.

She said: “A number of Scottish people are fair skinned and need to take adequate steps to ensure their skin is protected. As the weather forecast is for sunshine over the next week everyone should take a few simple precautions.

“Children are especially vulnerable and care should be taken to ensure they are covered up adequately.

“Babies, in particular, need to be covered up. With both sun-creams and sun protection clothing designed for babies and children there is no need for children to be over-exposed to the sun.”