Monday 18th July 2016 – 4pm – Jamie Arrowsmith
With the long wait for summer to arrive finally over, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) is urging the public to enjoy it safely as temperatures begin to rise.
The ambulance service is bracing itself for a challenging week with temperatures set to hit 30 degrees in parts of the region tomorrow and remaining high throughout the evenings.
Having waited this long to see the sunshine WMAS wants to make sure everyone enjoys the warm weather safely, taking care of themselves and others.
It is important to drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, make sure you protect yourself with suncream and do not spend too long in the sun, particularly between 11am and 3pm when it is at its warmest.
Also, you should always dress appropriately for the conditions, wearing a hat to protect your head from burning.
If you have children, encourage them to play in the shade whilst babies under the age of six months should be kept out of direct sunlight. Any exposed skin should have sunscreen applied, including to their face and tops of feet.
One of the concerns for WMAS is the number of calls to serious breathing problems resulting from the increasing warm conditions.
A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “The hot weather can make breathing difficult for healthy individuals, so for those with pre-existing breathing problems it can obviously be a difficult time.
“Those who suffer with emphysema, asthma and long term breathing problems should take extra care over the next few days, remaining indoors as much as possible.
“If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, please take a few minutes to check that they are ok and have everything they need in order to look after themselves.
“If everyone looks after each other as well as themselves, hopefully this will reduce the number of people who need to dial 999 for our help.”
Helpful hints this during the heatwave:
- If you’re out in the sun make sure you apply plenty of sun cream, wear a hat and light, loose fitting cotton clothes. Avoid being out between 11am and 3pm, which is the hottest part of the day.
- Drink plenty of fluids, such as water, to keep yourself hydrated. Remember, caffeine and alcohol can have the opposite effect and can actually dehydrate you.
- Fancy a swim? Then please do so in a supervised swimming pool. No matter how tempting it is to cool off in rivers and lakes. The Trust has sadly dealt with a number of incidents in open water.
- If a barbecue is on the cards, please ensure that it is lit safely and in the correct manner. Avoid burn injuries by using the correct utensils and don’t let children play too closely to the hot barbecue. Lastly, please make sure that all food is cooked through properly to avoid any food poisoning incidents.
- If you’re taking advantage of the sunshine and are going out for a walk or hike in the countryside, please make sure you wear the appropriate footwear to avoid any slips or trips.
- If you’re planning on hitting the road for a trip away, make sure you’re prepared for your journey, take food and drinks and remember to break the journey up. If driving in residential areas, please watch out for ice cream vans and any children that may be distracted around them.
- We would also ask bikers to be careful and wear appropriate safety clothing. Equally we ask car drivers to look out for bikers, as the number of these on the road will be significantly higher when the weather is good.”