Saturday 1 October 2016

Sun worshippers warned of heatstroke risk as temperatures could rise to 24C

David Kearns

Published 01/06/2016 | 02:30

Sun-worshippers are being warned to take extra care as temperatures continue to sizzle ahead of the June bank holiday.

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The HSE is advising people to take care during the hot weather, warning that the severe heat considerably increases the risk of heatstroke and heat exhaustion - especially among older people, children and outdoor workers.

Laoise Mundow from Kinvara keeps busy at Dogs Bay in Connemara. Photo:Andrew Downes
Laoise Mundow from Kinvara keeps busy at Dogs Bay in Connemara. Photo:Andrew Downes

VHI is reporting that many people coming into its clinics seeking help for other aliments have had to be treated for sunburn.

"It seems clear that people just aren't listening to the advice," said a spokesperson for the insurance company.

"In the last week or so, we've had quite a few people coming in not realising that they were quite badly burned."

According to Met Éireann, temperatures will hover around 20C for the remainder of the week, and could even rise to as high as 24C in some parts of the country.

"It's going to be more or less the same right up to the bank holiday," said forecaster Harm Luijkx.

"Monday is looking a little doubtful, given that we're predicting showers, but otherwise temperatures should remain high."

With glorious sunshine on the horizon, the HSE has issued some guidelines on sun care. Sunburn is the most immediate danger, and can increase the risk of heatstroke in the over-75s by almost two thirds.

Those people who are physically active in the heat, like labourers and athletes, should take particular care to avoid heat exhaustion.

A man enjoys an ice-cream cone as his dog looks on enviously in Salthill, Galway. Photo Andy Newman
A man enjoys an ice-cream cone as his dog looks on enviously in Salthill, Galway. Photo Andy Newman
Ruth Whittle and Gill Evans from Blackpool relax in Dublin’s Botanic Gardens. PIC: MAXPIXS

While not overly serious, it can lead to a feeling of debility and, if not spotted early, it can also lead to heatstroke.

Somewhat rare in Ireland, this condition is very serious and, if not treated, the survival rate can be as low as 20pc among vulnerable people such as the elderly.

Heatstroke occurs when the body is no longer able to cool itself and a person's body temperature becomes dangerously high - putting a strain on the brain, heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

Heatstroke or heat exhaustion can develop quickly over a few minutes - or gradually over several hours or days. Signs of both include tiredness, feeling faint or dizzy, headaches, muscle cramps and feeling sick and sweating heavily.

Caoimhe Coburn Gray from North Strand enjoying the sunshine in Sandycove, Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Caoimhe Coburn Gray from North Strand enjoying the sunshine in Sandycove, Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

If a person with heat exhaustion is taken quickly to a cool place and given plenty of water to drink, they should begin to feel better within half an hour.

Elsewhere, Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public not to swim for extended periods during the current warm spell.

Irish Independent

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