Summer months are a busy time for the NHS, with soaring temperatures leading to increased numbers of patients suffering heat exhaustion, sunburn and allergic reactions from insect bites.

Being aware and well prepared for the hot weather can help people to stay healthy, cool and protected, says NHS Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which has released top tips for staying safe in the sun.

To stay safe in the sun,
• Avoid getting sunburnt by using good quality sunscreen
• Drink plenty of water or juice to avoid dehydration
• Stay out of the sun when it is at its hottest, from 11am to 3pm
• Stay cool by wearing loose-fitting clothes and a hat
• Protect your eyes with sunglasses.

Dr Nathan Nathan, Chair of NHS Medway CCG said: “Patients that need medical help and advice are advised to call their GP practice first. If the practice is closed, the answerphone will have details of the GP out-of-hours service.”

Not all ailments need assistance from an NHS service – a grazed knee, a sore throat, mild sunburn or mild sunstroke may be best treated by staying at home, resting and drinking plenty of fluids. Remember antibiotics do not work on viral infections such as a cough and colds.

Dr Nathan added: “We want everyone to enjoy the summer and good weather safely. People sometimes go to A&E because they don’t know where else to go for advice. By phoning the GP or out-of-hours service, people can get the expert care they need in the right place and keep emergency NHS services free for those with life-threatening and serious illness and injuries.”

To find out more about summer health or for more information on staying safe in the sun, visit http://www.nhs.uk/Summerhealth.

To find out more about keeping your baby or child safe in the sun visit http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/safety-in-the-sun.aspx.

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