Summer has arrived in Knowsley, and while many of us welcome the sunshine and warmer weather, for others it can be uncomfortable. Whether it’s dealing with the heat and hay fever symptoms, travel vaccines, or trying to keep children entertained while the schools are closed – here’s some NHS tips and advice on how residents can keep well and stay safe this summer.
Stay safe in the sun
Children, older people and other vulnerable groups can easily be affected by the sun’s heat and rays. Higher temperatures can also exacerbate the symptoms of long-term health conditions, such as respiratory and heart conditions.
Stocking up on sunblock (preferably SPF50), drinking plenty of fluids, staying in shade, and avoiding being outdoors during the hottest part of the day (between 11am-3pm) are just a few tips for coping with hot weather.
For more advice on enjoying hot weather safely, visit: www.cheshireandmerseyside.nhs.uk/posts/local-nhs-urges-public-stay-safe-during-heatwave/
Don’t let COVID ruin your summer
With COVID-19 cases on the rise again, the sharp increase in infections has the potential to disrupt essential services and affect peoples’ summer holiday plans.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is make sure you’re up to date with COVID vaccinations and boosters. The vaccine is available to everyone aged 5+, including anyone who is pregnant or breastfeeding.
There’s vaccination clinics taking place throughout the summer in Knowsley. You can find your nearest at: www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccination
Free health checks
Knowsley’s roving health check and vaccine unit is travelling around the borough this summer, offering residents a full health MOT – including blood pressure checks, cholesterol tests, COVID-19 vaccine, and more.
Get help when you need it this summer
You can get advice and treatment for lots of common conditions and summer allergies by visiting a local pharmacy – no need for an appointment. Find your nearest pharmacy and opening times here: www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/prescriptions-and-pharmacies/
If you need to see a doctor and your GP practice is closed, contact NHS 111. Their team of clinicians and advisors will help direct you to the most appropriate service or treatment.
Alternatively, both adults and children can attend a local NHS Walk-in Centre without an appointment. Knowsley’s Walk-in Centres are open from early until late, seven days a week, including on bank holidays. For locations and opening times, visit: https://www.merseycare.nhs.uk/our-services/knowsley/walk-centres
Children’s symptom checker
If you’re worried about a child’s health, Alder Hey Children’s Hospital have introduced an online symptom checker that can help parents and carers understand common symptoms in children and know when to seek further help.
Go to: www.alderhey.nhs.uk to try it out.
If you are planning to travel abroad this summer, you might also have questions about travel vaccinations. In the same way you’d want to make sure your passport and holiday insurance are up to date, making sure you’ve had all the necessary vaccinations could avoid your plans being ruined.
In addition, many countries also still require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or status for all visitors aged 12+. Make sure that you check on local rules for the country you are visiting before you travel, and download a COVID-19 Pass which may be required by your travel company or holiday providers.
If you have holiday plans abroad, it’s also worth taking the time to read this foreign travel checklist: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-checklist
You can also find useful advice on accessing healthcare abroad here: https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/healthcare-abroad/
Mental health support
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, it’s important to know where to go. All Knowsley residents – children, young people and adults – can call Mersey Care’s 24/7 freephone crisis line for urgent mental health support on: 0800 051 1508
If you’re feeling mentally unwell but don’t require urgent help, please seek advice from your GP.
For further help & advice on looking after your mental health and wellbeing, you can also visit: www.merseycare.nhs.uk