NHS tips on how to stay well in summer

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As part of their efforts to help people ‘Stay Well Over Summer’ the NHS in Leeds and Leeds City Council ran an interactive pop-up in Leeds city centre to prepare people for all that the great British summer can throw at them.

The event on Lands Lane, focused on hydration and the importance of keeping hydrated all year round, whatever the weather. The public were invited to spin the ‘wheel of wee’ a 6ft wheel showing the colour scale of urine from dehydrated to hydrated for the chance to win a metal reusable water bottle.

People could also take part in a competition to work out how many glasses of water a day are likely to keep dehydration at bay.

Joining the team were clinical experts from the ‘Eye Spy E. coli’ campaign that raises awareness of the risks associated with dehydration.

In particular the campaign raises awareness that dehydration can lead to E. coli and/or urinary tract infections (UTIs).

One of the easiest things people can do to keep hydrated is to regularly drink plenty of water, with around 6-8 glasses a day or about two litres a day. In hot weather, for those working in physically demanding roles or taking part in sports there is often a need to drink more than the minimum suggested amount, with thirst being a good indication of a need to top up.

The campaign team highlighted that there are now multiple free water refill points across the city as part of the Refill campaign. A number of large chains have signed up to the free water Refill scheme including Costa Coffee, Starbucks, Pret and John Lewis. To find out more people can download the Refill app https://refill.org.uk/

Signs of dehydration include, thirst, muscle cramps, dry mouth, impaired vision and concentration, constipation, fatigue and dizziness.

As part of the Stay Well This Summer campaign the NHS has issued advice in an effort to reduce the impact of weather-related conditions and injuries.

Last year, across one of the busiest days experienced by A&E departments across England was during the period of prolonged warm weather. This included people affected by dehydration, heat stroke and being overexposed to the sun when it’s at its strongest.

Dr Gordon Sinclair, a local GP and Clinical Chair for NHS Leeds CCG, said: “Our health and care services are incredibly busy all year round, but spells of extreme weather can have a significant impact especially where people could have taken small precautions to avoid getting ill or injured.

“If you do start to feel unwell and it’s not an emergency please contact NHS 111, where a trained advisor will help you access the most appropriate care.”