Health advice this spring/summer

Sunscreen and sun safety 

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn does not just happen on holiday. You can burn in the UK, even when it’s cloudy. 

There’s no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan does not protect your skin from the sun’s harmful effects.

Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.

 

Sun safety tips

Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October.

Read more Sunscreen and sun safety – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

 

Beat the heat: hot weather advice 

Information on how to stay safe in hot weather, including how to keep your home cool.

Be prepared for hot weather. It is important to follow the advice to be prepared for hot weather. This is particularly important if you are higher risk of becoming seriously unwell. To prepare, you can: listen to the news and check your local weather forecast so that you know when hot weather is expected,  look out for advice on what to do if services such as power, water supplies and transport are likely to be affected.  

Stay well when there is hot weather

There are things you can do to prevent yourself from overheating when the weather is hot. If you do get too hot, it is important to give your body a break from the heat and take actions that will help cool you down. You should also: 

  • Protect yourself from the sun
  • Limit strenuous physical activity
  • Avoid hot closed spaces
  • Keep your home cool
  • Stay safe when swimming
 
Find out more by visiting these external websites: 

Prevent dehydration 

  • Drink fluids regularly throughout the day especially if you
    are physically active. You should drink enough that your pee is a pale straw colour.
  • Water and diluted squash or lower fat milks are good
    choices. Fruit juice, smoothies and soft drinks can be high in sugar which dehydrates the body. Limit the amount of fruit juice or smoothies that you drink, and swap sugary soft drinks for diet, sugar-free or no added sugar varieties.
  • If you are going out, take a refillable bottle filled with
    water. Take extra water for journeys on public transport or by car.
  • Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, so it is a
    good idea to choose alcohol-free options, or alternate alcoholic drinks with a glass of water.

You can find more information on the signs and symptoms of
dehydration
 on NHS.UK


Stay well  

It’s important that you know how to get help if needed and to plan ahead.  

  • Preparing in advance is a good idea. Make sure that you’ve got enough prescription medication left, and try to follow the advice below to keep yourself or people you care for well.
  • Check your medicine cabinet. Find out what you should be keeping in your home medicine cabinet 
  • Check your repeat prescriptions. Order any repeat prescriptions you require in time to ensure you have adequate provision especially over the bank holiday or if you are travelling away from home. 
  • GP practices usually require 48 hours’ notice to organise a repeat prescription. You can also order your repeat prescriptions via the NHS App. The NHS App is available on the App Store and on Google Play.
  • Ask for help from experts at your local pharmacy. Pharmacists are trained medical professionals and can often help you with advice and over the counter medicine for minor ailments and illnesses. Some pharmacies open on bank holidays. Check the opening times of your local pharmacy here.
 

Hay fever 

Hay fever is usually worse between late March and September, especially when it’s warm, humid and windy. This is when the pollen count is at its highest.

Symptoms of hay fever include:

  • sneezing and coughing
  • a runny or blocked nose
  • itchy, red or watery eyes
  • itchy throat, mouth, nose and ears
  • loss of smell
  • pain around your temples and forehead
  • headache
  • earache
  • feeling tired
  • If you have asthma, you might also:
  • have a tight feeling in your chest
  • be short of breath
  • wheeze and cough

Hay fever will last for weeks or months, unlike a cold, which usually goes away after 1 to 2 weeks.

There’s currently no cure for hay fever and you cannot prevent it.

But you can do things to ease your symptoms when the pollen count is high find out more: Hay fever – NHS (www.nhs.uk)


COVID-19 ‘spring booster’ vaccine

People eligible for their spring booster include:

  • Adults aged 75 years and over
  • Residents in a care home for older adults
  • Individuals aged 6 months and over who have a weakened immune system.

Find out more about the COVID-19 booster vaccine and who can get it


Group A strep and scarlet fever 

It’s a common and usually mild illness but kids do need antibiotics so look out for a rash, fever, sort throat and a red tongue (strawberry tongue). 

For more information and when to seek help visit the West Yorkshire Healthier Together website


Insect bites and stings 

Insect bites and stings will usually cause a red, swollen
lump to develop on the skin. This may be painful and in some cases can be very itchy.

The symptoms will normally improve within a few hours or days, although sometimes they can last a little longer.

Some people have a mild allergic reaction and a larger area of skin around the bite or sting becomes swollen, red and painful. This should pass within a week.

Occasionally, a severe allergic reaction can occur, causing symptoms such as breathing difficulties, dizziness and a swollen face or mouth. This requires immediate medical treatment.

To treat an insect bite or sting:

  • remove the sting or tick if it’s still in the skin wash the affected area with soap and water
  • apply a cold compress (such as a flannel or cloth cooled
    with cold water) or an ice pack to any swelling for at least 10 minutes
  • raise or elevate the affected area if possible, as this can
    help reduce swelling
  • avoid scratching the area, to reduce the risk of infection
  • avoid traditional home remedies, such as vinegar and
    bicarbonate of soda, as they’re unlikely to help
  • The pain, swelling and itchiness can sometimes last a few
    days. Ask your pharmacist about medicines that can help, such as painkillers, creams for itching and antihistamines.

 Read more about treating insect bites and stings.


Prevent asthma flare-ups  

Children are most likely to have an asthma flare-up when
they start the new school year but using their preventer inhaler everyday as
prescribed can help stop this happening.

How can you help your child, to reduce their chances of an
asthma flare up?

Step 1: Make sure your child is having their preventer
inhaler everyday as it is prescribed. Missing just one or two doses a week can
have a significant impact on their health, so keep their preventer somewhere visible
and create a good routine.

Step 2: Make sure your child is using their inhaler in
the most effective way.  Perfect your child’s inhaler technique by
watching the helpful demonstration videos or alternatively ask your pharmacist
to review your child’s technique. Read more back to school advice here. Adults aged 75 years and over.

Residents in a care home for older adults.

Individuals aged 6 months and over who have a weakened immune system.