Much of the UK is basking in sunshine and hot weather, and whilst it may be enjoyable for many, the heat and direct sunlight carry some potential health risks.

Britain doesn’t often get prolonged heatwaves, or even temperatures above 30 degrees Celsius, so it’s no surprise the weather is the talking point of many.

We have asked our doctors to prepare some advice for everyone;

·         Direct sunlight can cause skin damage, and prolonged exposure can result in skin cancer. You should always wear sun protection when outdoors and avoid extended periods in the direct sunlight. UV rays can cause skin damage even when it’s cloudy.

·         Direct exposure to sunlight isn’t the only risk – the heat in the summer months can lead to severe illness. Make sure you stay in well ventilated areas and drink plenty of fluids. You should avoid beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol during the day as these can cause dehydration.

·         Be sure to check on relatives who may be sensitive to heat and sunlight, especially the elderly.

Be prepared

It may be a good idea to keep bottled or filtered water in your fridge as the water from the tap may be at ambient temperature.

Stay tuned to the forecast, especially if you plan on travelling. Check on the weather for the journey as well as the destination.

If you're still unsure of how to prepare, or if you have any concerns you should contact a GP or other appropriate medical help.