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Dublin: 9°C Tuesday 26 January 2021

HSE: Older people, children and manual workers risk 'serious harm' in heatwave

Along with the Department of Health, they have issued a number of tips to keep people cool and safe during the good weather.

Children playing at the urban beach at the IFSC in 2008.
Children playing at the urban beach at the IFSC in 2008.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

THE HSE and Department of Health have advised people to take care of themselves during the heatwave so that everyone can enjoy the good weather safely.

In a statement, they said that hot spell deaths in people aged 75 and over rise by up to 60 per cent more than would normally be expected.

Other groups particularly at rick of serious harm are young children, those with serious mental health problems, people with heart, respiratory and serious health problems, and those with mobility problems. People who misuse alcohol or take illicit drugs are also at significant risk during a heatwave.

The HSE said people who are physically active, like manual workers and athletes should take particular care in the higher temperatures.

To keep you cool and safe, here are some of their tips:

  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest hours, apply sunscreen with UVA protection and wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes.
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion or at least keep activities like gardening and sport for cooler parts of the day.
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks, avoiding excess alcohol or caffeine, and eat cold foods like salads and fruit.
  • Take a cool shower and if you’re out in the sun, sprinkle water over your skin or clothing to keep cool.
  • Keep windows exposed to the sun closed during the day and close curtains but open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
  • Electric fans can help but only if the temperature is below 35C.
  • Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people to make sure they are staying cool, and ensure babies, children and elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars.
  • Many prescriptions can reduce your tolerance to heat so keep taking them but take extra care to stay cool.
  • If you feel dizzy, short of breath, confused or start vomiting, take immediate action to cool down but do not take asprin or paracetamol. If symptoms persist, seek medical attention.
  • Remember, heat stroke can kill and it can develop very rapidly so if you suspect someone has it, call 999 immediately.

Read: Met Éireann has issued a weather warning in Ireland…>
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