Beat the Heat

As temperatures have risen over the last years, there has been an increase in mortality due to heat, thus this year there have been changes to the Heatwave Plan for England to ensure that updates are sent out via the Met Office, much like flood alerts are sent out. The first heatwave alert went out last Thursday 15th July and an update to it was made on Tuesday 20th July, see: Heat-health alert issued by Public Health England - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The met office are describing this as Amber – extreme heat for some areas. There are a range of vulnerable groups including the very young, or very old and those with underlying health conditions or chronic disease.

The top ways for staying safe during a heatwave are to:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk

  • stay cool indoors: many of us may need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool

  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors

  • use cool spaces considerately if going outdoors, and wash your hands regularly

  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol

  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest

  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat

  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day

  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling

  • take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into open water to cool down – during warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief

  • remember that while coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions are in place, you will need to follow any additional government guidance to use public spaces safely

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