Pharmacist shares six tips for staying well during the heatwave

Dr Amir gives tips on how to stay safe during UK heatwave

Clare Nevinson, Boots Superintendent Pharmacist, shared her top six pieces of advice on how to keep protected against the sun and hay fever symptoms in the weather these next few days.

Ensure you have sun protection

With weather meant to be reaching up to 30 degrees Celsius this weekend, and with UV ratings reaching up to level 8, extra protection will be required in order for people’s skin not to be damaged in the sun.

Ms Nevinson said: “Applying sunscreen is recommended all year round, but when it’s warmer outside you need to ensure you’re using a product with SPF30+ for adults or SPF50 for children and a high UVA protection.

“Sunscreen should be applied before going outside and allowed to dry, and then reapplied regularly throughout the day.

“UV rays can have damaging short-term and long-term effects so keep your sunscreen in your bag for hassle free top ups.”

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She also highlighted particular importance in protecting children in these high UV conditions: “Use plenty of sunscreen on children to cover any exposed skin and try to keep children in the shade in the middle of the day, especially between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. 

“Also, if you haven’t used the sunscreen you already have for a while, make sure you check when it was first opened to determine if it’s still OK to use. If you need to buy more, save this summer with 10 percent off all Soltan products with a Boots Advantage Card.”  

Make sure to cool down with water and a fan

Remember that in these times of warmer temperatures, getting heat exhaustion or even heat stroke is a risk. 

So, Ms Nevinson advised: “Take a cool shower or bath or alternatively, if you’re out and about, take a cooling spray or mist with you to help keep your face and body cool and refresh skin in the warmer weather. If you’re at home and have an electric fan, put some ice cubes in a bowl in front of it which will help to circulate ice cold air.”  

Keep hydrated

In such hot weather, one can feel dizzy and become tired, especially when exposed to the sunlight throughout the day.

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Ms Nevinson said: “Staying hydrated is vital on a warm day to help ensure you do not overheat and become dehydrated. Aim to drink a glass of water soon after waking and continue to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Carry a reusable bottle with you and avoid excess alcohol as this will dehydrate you.”

Dress appropriately for the weather

Ensure you are keeping yourself cool with your clothing. Prevent your neck and face from burning by wearing a hat in the sun.

Ms Nevinson advised: “Make sure you wear light, breathable clothing and wear a wide brimmed sun hat for added sun protection. Children should also wear a floppy sun hat while outside in the sun, to protect their face and neck. Wearing light colours and loose-fitting clothing is recommended to avoid the chance of overheating.”  

Don’t forget eye protection

With the UV rating going up to level 8, make sure you protect your eyes from the sun by wearing sunglasses.

Ms Nevinson highlighted the importance of this: “Don’t forget to protect your eyes from sun damage by wearing good quality wraparound sunglasses when in direct sunlight, as UV light can cause long-term damage to your eyes.

“It is important that children wear sunglasses too when outside in the sun as children’s eyes are particularly prone to sun damage because they have larger pupils and clearer lenses, which allow more UV to get in.” 

Find hay fever relief products

With pollen ratings very high over the weekend, it’s important if you suffer from hay fever to consider finding hay fever relief products that work for you.

Ms Nevinson said: Warmer weather usually sees a spike in pollen count, and when the pollen count is high, it’s likely hay fever symptoms will worsen. It can be helpful to keep an eye on the Met Office website to monitor the pollen count so you can be aware of whether you’re likely to experience hay fever symptoms.  

She added: “There are things you can do to help ease the symptoms such as put petroleum jelly in your nostrils to help trap pollen, stay indoors when possible and shower and change your clothes after you have been outside to wash pollen off. There are also hay fever products to help treat symptoms if needed. There is a huge range available at Boots – from tablets to nasal sprays – you can always speak to your pharmacist to find which product is suitable for you.” 

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