Nine ways to stay safe in the sun

We're all set to enjoy a heatwave - and some simply steps can ensure that you stay safe in the blazing hot weather.

Monday, 18th July 2016, 12:15 pm
Updated Monday, 18th July 2016, 1:20 pm

So as Portsmouth prepares for temperatures likely to be higher than those in San Francisco tomorrow, here are nine top safety tips.

1. Always spend time in the shade as the suns UV rays can be harmful to your skin. This is particularly important between the hottest hours of the day between 11am and 3pm. Some different ways of creating or finding shade is using a parasol, sheltering under trees or wearing wide-brimmed hats.

2. Ensure you apply sun cream, it will help you stay safe and protect your skin from damage. Make sure you re-apply every 2-3 hours as well as every time you come out of water. To maximize your protection from the sun combine sun cream with shade such as shelters.

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3. If you are one to burn in high temperatures cover up as much as possible. This could include wearing loose clothing and hats.

4. To fully cover up choose clothing that has a material that has a close weave- this will block out most of the suns UV rays. Be aware that when clothes get wet they stretch which allows more UV rays to get through.

5. Keep hydrated. Throughout the hot weather you will lose a lot of bodily fluids through sweat which can lead to dehydration. Some symptoms of this are headaches, dizziness and dry mouth/eyes. To treat this drink plenty of water (1 cup every 20 minutes) and if you’re exercising you should aim to drink 4 glasses of cool fluids each hour.

6. Replace your salts and minerals. As you sweat you are losing salts and minerals from the body which are vital for your bodily functions. To replace these consume a sports beverage or add a re- hydration powder to a glass of water. Snacking on nuts can also bring salt levels up.

7. If you are prone to fainting then you will be at even more of a risk during the high temperatures. To prevent this eat regularly and don’t stand up for long periods during the heatwave. If someone does feel faint, advise them to lie down and raise their legs to improve the blood flow to their brain.

8. Wear wrap around sunglasses that proved 100% UV protection. This will ensure maximum protection for your eyes.

9. Children are at more of a risk in these high temperatures. Their skin is much more sensitive than adults and if not taken care of properly can cause skin damage such as skin cancer in later life. Make sure you use the correct SPF factor for the child and ensure you reapply every 2 hours.

Further advice here from Cancer Research UK and here from the NHS.