Keep cool and carry on

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Heatwave temperatures have arrived across the eastern part of the country, prompting PHE to urge people to take extra care.

The Met Office yesterday (Tuesday 19 July 2016) declared a Level 3 heatwave alert, which means the hot weather has arrived in Yorkshire and Humber, the East Midlands, the East of England, London and the South East and is due to last until Thursday. All other parts of England will see high temperatures, but remain on Level 2 heatwave alert.

As a result of this forecast PHE is urging people to take care and have fun in the sun, while making sure that support is given to those who may be at risk from the ill effects of heat.

Dr Angie Bone, Head of Extreme Events at PHE said:

Now the heatwave has arrived, people will likely be out and about more enjoying the summer sun.

But it’s important to remember that there are some people whose health suffers in hot weather. Older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children may all feel the ill-effects of heat over the coming days.

We’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at-risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any help. There are lots of useful tips and guidance on NHS Choices website and more detail available in the Heatwave Plan for England.

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of water, sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • open windows when it feels cooler outside and it’s safe to do so
  • 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
  • if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes

Neil Armstrong, duty Chief Operational Meteorologist said:

Today will be a hot, largely sunny day with temperatures into the 30s Celsius across many parts of England. Across central and southern parts it will become very hot with temperatures approaching 35 Celsius. Tonight, it will feel very warm and muggy as temperatures remain high.

During the early hours of Wednesday clusters of thunderstorms are likely to move across parts of northern England and continue during the day for which there is a National Severe Weather Warning. Meanwhile, the rest of England will be mostly dry with sunny spells and it will still feel hot in the east and southeast of England with temperatures approaching 30 Celsius.

Dr Bone added:

The hot weather will put an extra strain on bodies and people may feel the ill-effects.

Each year we hear stories of people who have fallen seriously ill because, even though it’s hotter, they may wear clothes which are too warm for hot weather, they may not drink enough or try to do too much.

We’re urging everyone to keep an eye on weather forecasts, follow our basic advice and keep an eye out for each other this summer. That way we can all help each other stay well this summer.

Background

Public Health England exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, advocacy, partnerships and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health. Follow them on Twitter: @PHE_uk and Facebook: www.facebook.com/PublicHealthEngland.

Public Health England Press Office, Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards
Chilton, OX11 0RQ
Email: Telephone: 01235 825406/405
Out of hours telephone: 020 8200 4400

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