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Health warning as the heat takes it toll across the city.

Byline: Alison Dayani

FAMILIES are being warned to watch out for the most common summer illnesses as the weather hots up.

NHS Direct found heat exhaustion, insect bites, stings, sunburn, fainting, breathing difficulties and hay fever were the main emergencies from more than 2,000 calls during the hot spell last year.

Helen Young, Chief Nurse at NHS Direct, said: "Most symptoms are really easy to avoid if you take sensible precautions but our nurses and trained health advisers are ready to advise patients on the best ways to treat any heat-related conditions."

The medical advice to avoid heat exhaustion, when the temperature inside the body rises above 37C, includes staying out of the sun, drinking plenty of fluids but avoiding alcohol and caffeine, taking a cool shower or bath and wearing loose clothing.

Babies, young children, the elderly and people with severe or chronic illness should take extra care. Miss Young said first aiders should remember to lie fainting casualties in a low position with their legs raised or sit them down with their head between their knees.

They should gently, but firmly, push their head down, while they try to push their head upwards.

This will encourage the blood to flow to their brain, reducing their symptoms and helping them to recover more quickly.

NHS Direct is available 24 hours a day on 0845 46 47 or at
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jun 29, 2010
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