Take care of yourself, and others, during the hot weather

Met Published: Wednesday, 25th July 2018

The Met Office has issued a Level 2 heatwave alert across the region and Warrington Borough Council’s public health team is urging residents to take extra care.

A heatwave alert means people should be aware of the actions to protect themselves from the possible health effects of hot weather.

The Met Office has stated that hot, humid weather will continue during this week, likely peaking on Thursday and perhaps into Friday, with the highest temperatures expected towards Cheshire.

Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, executive board member for public health and wellbeing said: “High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“Healthier individuals can enjoy the sun safely by staying cool and drinking lots of cold fluids, but I would urge people to keep an eye on those you know are at risk.

“Sadly, it’s always worth reminding people never to leave infants, young children or animals unattended in a closed, parked vehicle.”

The sun is at its hottest between 11am – 3pm so public health recommends that people:

Stay out of the heat

  • Keep out of the sun as much as possible between 11am – 3pm
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes

Cool down

  • Have plenty of cold drinks, avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • Take a cool shower, bath or body wash
  • Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck

Keep your environment cool

  • Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves
  • keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
  • close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space
  • turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat
  • keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
  • electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C2

Incidences of skin cancer are increasing in Warrington and medical experts say that over exposure to ultraviolet light from the sun is the main cause. You can enjoy the sun safely by following the basic five S's of sun safety:

  • Slip on sun protective clothing that covers your body as much as possible -this can be cotton clothing or swim suits with a high UV protection factor
  • Slop on SPF 30+ UVA sunscreen with a star rating of five, at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun. Use waterproof sunscreen when going in the water and reapply after swimming or every 2 hours
  • Slap on a hat that shades the face, neck and ears
  • Slide on quality sun glasses
  • Shade from the sun whenever possible, especially between 11am and 3pm

More information is available at nhs.uk/be-clear-on-cancer/skin-cancer and the government’s Heatwave Plan for England.

For more information about keeping children safe in the sun visit www.skcin.org.