This is advice that could apply to anyone, however, it contains certain, extra elements that may be relevant to persons with disabilities. If possible, make yourself aware of a relative or neighbour’s disability and ask them how best you can help them if required. Arrange regular visits or phone calls at times of severe weather.
keep out of the sun at times advised by Met Éireann.
drink enough water. Staying hydrated is essential, but drinking too much tea or coffee is actually counterproductive.
wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes and a hat for shade.
wear wrap-around sun glasses with UV protection.
wear sun protection factor 30 or over with a 4 or 5 star uva rating.
many prescription medicines can reduce tolerance of heat. Keep taking your medicines, but take extra care to keep cool.
danger symptoms to watch out for in hot weather include feeling faint and dizzy, shortness of breath, vomiting, or increasing confusion.
take immediate action if dangerous symptoms of heatstroke are present. Cool down as quickly as possible. However do not take aspirin or paracetamol – this can make you worse. Do, however, carry on taking all other prescribed medicines.
keep medicines as per instructions on the packaging.
seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic condition or taking multiple medications.
try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place and measure your body temperature. drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate.
rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular cramps (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen) and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.
seek medical attention as needed if heat cramps last more than one hour.
contact your doctor or a pharmacist if you are worried about your health during a heat wave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.
watch for feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping.
if you have a respiratory condition pay close attention to pollen count warnings from Met Éireann.
seek advice on whether being in a building with air conditioning could aggravate a respiratory condition.
if you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech impairment register for the emergency call answering service 112 text service; you may need to contact the emergency services.
if you have a guide/assistance dog make sure your dog keeps cool and is adequately hydrated.
Keeping an eye on persons with disabilities
Keep a closer eye on a person with a cognitive impairment as they may not be able to communicate distress. In some cases, they may not even “feel” the heat or discomfort.
Ensure that they have sufficient supplies of food and medications.
Ensure that they have access to power and water.
If you have any doubts about the safety of someone you know who has a disability seek the assistance of the Garda Síochána or local health and social services.