Are you worried about your respiratory patients in hot weather? British Lung Foundation’s Vicky Barber provides guidance on what nurses and people living with a lung condition need to consider.
As summer approaches and the temperature rises I am often asked on the BLF Helpline what people living with a lung condition should bear in mind. So I have put together a quick guide to help your patients stay well over the coming months.
The following are my top tips to help your patients cope with the hot weather.
Avoid the heat
Stay out of the sun and do not go outside between 11am and 3pm. If you have to go out try planning to achieve your tasks in the cooler parts of the day.
Keep out of the sun
If you do need to go out during the day, avoid being in the sun for long stretches, and wear loose, cool clothing and a hat.
Pack a bag of essentials
Take a bag of essentials with you such as any medication that you may need, plenty of water and a portable fan.
Reduce amounts of strenuous activity
Reduce the amount of strenuous activity you do in the heat (both indoors and outdoors). Limit activities like housework and gardening to the early morning or evening when it’ is cooler. Make sure you exercise indoors in a cool, well-ventilated room or gym.
Drink cold water
Drink cold water regularly even if you do not feel thirsty and avoid alcohol as it can cause dehydration.
Keep your house cool
Try to keep your house cool. Closing blinds or curtains can help. Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. If it is safe to do so, open windows at night when the air is cooler.
Take baths or showers
Have regular baths or showers in cool water, or even just splash your face to keep cool.
Use a handheld fan
Try using a handheld fan and let the cool air blow towards the middle part of your face, holding it about six inches from your face. You may also find a floor-standing fan or desktop fan helps. Do not have the fan blowing directly into your face, as this may cause you to inhale dust.
Check pollution and pollen
Vicky Barber is a specialist respiratory nurse on the British Lung Foundation helpline