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Stay safe and well during the heatwave

June 16 2017

As parts of the country are expected to see very hot and sunny weather this weekend, health experts have issued advice on how to stay safe and well.

The Level Two Alert has been triggered by a Met Office forecast of a 70 per cent chance of temperatures reaching heatwave conditions over this weekend and into Monday.

Dr Danny Showell, public health consultant at North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “All sensible people know doing simple things will keep you safe while enjoying the hot weather. Drink cool drinks when thirsty, avoid too much direct sun exposure and be generous with the sun cream.

“Keep an eye out for friends, family and neighbours who might be particularly vulnerable: older people, babies and young children, and those with chronic condition such as breathing or heart problems.

“If you are travelling during the glorious weather plan ahead, take drinks with you and listen to the weather forecast. If you are vulnerable to the heat, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am to 3pm) and, if you must go out, stay in the shade.”

Key advice from clinicians includes:

  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm if you are vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid too much tea, coffee and alcohol. Take water with you if travelling.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, older people, young children or animals.
  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter). Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors.
  • Wear UV sunglasses to reduce UV exposure to eyes.
  • Apply a sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection.

People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it is an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS 111 can help you get the right treatment or visit the NHS Choices website. Weather information can be found on The Met Office website and the Care UK website contains advice on commuting in hot weather.