Plea to party sensibly during the bank holiday weekend

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Ambulance bosses are urging revellers to party safely over the Diamond Jubilee weekend - and be sensible with alcohol.

The South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is urging people to stay safe and look after themselves, as well as and friends and family, throughout the bank holiday weekend.

During the hot weather of May 26-27, the service received almost 5,000 emergency calls - an increase of 800 on the previous weekend.

And many of those calls could have been avoided by taking a few simple precautions, according to a statement from the trust.

“High temperatures can also seriously affect people with long-term conditions such as heart conditions or high blood pressure. SECAmb is urging these people to be equally cautious during any hot weather,” it read.

“While temperatures are expected to be cooler this weekend, a large number of people will be out and about celebrating at a wide range of events to celebrate the Jubilee. SECAmb is urging everyone to ensure the celebrations are not spoilt by a trip in an ambulance which could have been avoided.”

Tips from the trust include:

* Stay in the shade or indoors. The sun is at its most dangerous between 11am and 3pm.

* Use sunscreen and cover up. If you can’t avoid being out in the sun apply sunscreen (factor 15+) and wear a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses.

* Increase your fluid intake. The normal recommended daily intake of fluid is 2.5 litres or 8 glasses per day.

* Keep your home cool. Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside.

* Look after the elderly. Older people are more prone to the effects of heat.

* Protect children. Keep a close eye on young children, who need plenty of fluids.

* Avoid excessive physical exertion. If you are taking physical exercise you need to drink half a litre of fluid at least half an hour beforehand and continue to replenish your fluids after exercising.

* Be sensible with alcohol. Hot weather speeds up the effects of alcohol so extra care should be taken when drinking. Alcohol will lead to dehydration so make sure you alternate alcoholic drinks with water or fruit juice.

“Bank holiday weekends are often busy and as always we have robust plans in place to manage any increase in demand, but the public can help us by using their common sense to avoid any unnecessary trips to A&E,” said Andy Cashman, head of contingency, planning and resilience at SECAmb.

“For example, if people choose to consume alcohol they should also ensure they also drink plenty of water. Throughout the whole summer we obviously want people to have a good time but we’d ask that they are sensible and look out for themselves, their friends and family.”

If you need medical advice or treatment you can:

Talk to a pharmacist

Call NHS Direct (0845 4647) – 24 hours or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk

Visit your GP surgery or Minor Injury Unit