Health warning as temperatures set to soar in East Lancashire

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A warning has been issued as East Lancashire is set to experience its first hot spell of the year.

The North West Ambulance Service urged sun-seekers to take extra care as temperatures look set to soar this weekend.

A huge rise in weather-related 999 calls is expected as the mercury rises in the coming days.

Officials say the majority of emergency calls are for genuinely ill people as during periods of hot weather there is an increase in the number of people experiencing respiratory problems such as asthma.

But the Trust says many incidents arise from alcohol misuse, accidents with barbecues and people swimming outdoors.

Derek Cartwright, Director of Emergency Services, said: “We all want to enjoy the warm weather but no-one wants to spend a warm evening in an accident and emergency department.

“During the summer, we traditionally see a rise in the number of cases such as assaults and falls due to alcohol misuse, accidents with barbecues and children who go swimming in lakes and rivers, so we would urge people to think carefully about what they are doing.

“Our services are urgently needed by those who are seriously ill or have life-threatening conditions and the public can help us by not calling 999 unless it is a serious emergency and by taking care of themselves and others.”

The Trust is advising people to take care while gardening with ladders and power tools, alternate alcoholic drinks with water to avoid dehydration in the heat and wear sun protection to avoid sunburn and sunstroke.

Do not go swimming in lakes, rivers, canals or reservoirs – some have unseen currents which can pull you under and the water is a lot colder than you would expect.

Keep your children safe when they are playing on scooters and bikes – provide them with safety headwear to avoid a head injury should they fall.

The Trust reminded people barbecues and alcohol do not mix. Never use an accelerant to light the barbecue and remember the coals are hot for a long time after they have gone out.

Mr Cartwright added: “The advice may seem straightforward but these are the types of avoidable accidents we see every day during the hot weather, especially on long weekends such as the Bank Holiday next week when people have extra time off work.

“By keeping safe, we can all enjoy the summer, however, brief it may be, and we can ensure that those who really need our help can receive a timely response.”