Stay out of the sun between 11am-3pm, drink plenty of water and look out for symptoms of heatstroke and dehydration.

NORTH Devon residents are being urged to take care in the sun with the warm weather set to continue for the next couple of weeks.

People vulnerable to the effects of the heat are being warned to stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, and drink cold drinks regularly.

Hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse, and a heat wave could cause possibly dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Dr Prue Mitchell, clinical lead for cancer for the eastern locality of northern, eastern and western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group urged people to look out for others in the hot weather.

"Some of the danger signs to watch out for during hot weather include feeling faint and dizzy, shortness of breath and vomiting or increasing confusion," she said.

"If you are likely to be out in the sun for a long period of time it's worth making sure you have plenty of cold drinks to hand and avoid drinking alcohol and too much caffeine to avoid dehydrating.

"Even if you're planning to stay at home you should try to make sure your living space is cool and this is especially important for young children and babies, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions."

Dr Mitchell also advised using a sunscreen with at least SPF 15.

She said: "There are almost 250 cases of malignant melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, and 40 related deaths every year in Devon.

"The county has some of the highest rates of melanoma in the country."

For more information or advice on heat exhaustion or heatstroke contact NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk.