Be sun safe and booze aware – A&E warning

Staff in the region's busiest A&E department are advising the public to take care in the sun with a heatwave predicted. The Met Office has forecast that over the weekend, hot Mediterranean air will move in with temperatures expected to reach 30 °C.

And the being safe in the sun message is all the more important as the World Cup kicks off and alcohol consumption lulls people into a false sense of security.

Children and the elderly are at most risk in the hot weather from sunburn and heat stress – both of which are preventable by taking some simple steps. A leaflet giving simple advice about coping with hot weather is available here – Heatwave.

Heatwave advice

  • Try and plan your day in a way that allows you to stay out of the heat, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm)
  • If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY, or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day, like early morning
  • If you must go out, stay in the shade, wear a hat and light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton
  • If you will be outside for some time, take plenty of water with you
  • Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible
  • Close the curtains in rooms that get a lot of sun
  • Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation. If you are worried about security, at least open windows on the first floor and above
  • Take cool showers or baths, and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly your face and the back of your neck
  • Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty – water or fruit juice are best
  • Try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee. They make dehydration worse
  • Eat as you normally would. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water.

A&E consultant Mr Mike Lambert said: “Football, alcohol and the heat are a heady combination. We want everyone to enjoy themselves and to take sensible precautions. Getting sunburnt is irresponsible and is not a medical emergency. If you do get sunburn you should visit a chemist and ask for calamine lotion and paracetamol. Try to rest in a cool environment, and drink plenty of fluids but not alcohol.”

And Mr Lambert also warned of the dangers of people looking to cool off by rivers, broads or the sea. Mr Lambert said: “Children must be closely supervised near water and trying to cool off in rivers, the seaside and pools can be very dangerous, especially after a recent meal or while drunk. A cool shower or bath is safest.”

The NHS in Norfolk provides a full range of services every day of the year including over the weekend:

Norwich NHS Walk In Centre

For minor injuries and illnesses, visit the Norwich NHS Walk-In Centre, Dussindale, Thorpe St. Andrew, Norwich, telephone 01603 300122.  The team of experienced nurses will assess, advise and treat people without an appointment. The Centre is open on weekdays and Saturdays from 7 am to 10 pm, and Sundays and bank holidays from 9 am to 10 pm.  

Cromer Minor Injuries Unit

Cromer Hospital’s Minor Injuries Unit, Mill Road, is open from 8am to 10pm, seven days a week, and its nurses can treat a range of minor injuries, including:

  • Minor head injuries (with no loss of consciousness)
  • Simple wounds
  • Simple eye conditions, foreign body, corneal abrasions
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Bites and stings, with no associated complications, or acute reaction
  • Simple fractures

GP Out of hours (inc weekends and public holidays)

When your GP’s surgery is closed, Anglian Medical Care provides family medical care overnight, at weekends and on bank holidays.  Either call your doctors number and listen to the answer’ phone message or call the service direct on 01603 488488.  A doctor will assess your problem and will either give advice over the phone, arrange a home visit from a GP or other qualified professional, or ask you to visit your nearest centre for treatment.  

Emergency NHS dental care

If you have dental pain and need advice or treatment during the evening, at a weekend or a public holiday call this number: 08456 003246. You will be able to get advice on pain relief or an appointment will be made for you to see an emergency dental practitioner within 24 hours.

The service is open weekdays and weekends (between 18.00 and 08.30), and on bank holidays.

NHS Direct

For free, confidential advice from experienced nurses call NHS Direct 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 0845 46 47 or visit NHS Direct Online at the website includes a self help guide, a health encyclopaedia and links to other useful sources of health information. 

When your GP’s surgery is closed and one of the other services is not appropriate, pharmacies can also often give health advice especially concerning medicines.

The A&E department of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is the busiest in the region (Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire) and treated 72,048 patients during 2005/06.

Friday 9th of June 2006 10:00:50 AM