Areas around England may experience “heatwave” conditions over the next few days, according to Met Office forecasts, and the council is reminding residents to be prepared.
Severe heat can lead to dehydration, heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Some people are more at risk than others, including older people, infants and people with medical conditions.
Even if temperatures do not hit extreme levels, Public Health England (PHE) still advises people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.
The advice from the council’s public health team is to follow the slip, slop, slap, slide, shade messages:
- Slip on loose fitting, cotton clothing that covers your body as much as possible
- Slop on SPF 30+ UVA sunscreen with a star rating of five, at least 20 minutes before going out in the sun.
- Slap on a wide brimmed sun hat that shades the face, neck and ears
- Slide on quality sun glasses
- Shade from the sun whenever possible, especially between 11am and 3pm
Cool yourself 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
Symptoms of heatstroke may include: high temperature, heavy sweating that suddenly stops, hot and/or dry skin and a rapid heartbeat as well as rapid breathing.
Take immediate action if danger symptoms of heatstroke are present:
- move quickly to somewhere cool
- drink fluids, preferably water
- do not take aspirin or paracetamol – this can make you worse. But do carry on taking all other prescribed medicines
- seek further advice from NHS 111, a doctor, or ring 999 if the person has collapsed
Cllr Maureen McLaughlin, cabinet member for housing, public health and wellbeing said: “With the heatwave expected to begin this Wednesday, it’s really important to stay clued up on staying safe in the sun.
“High temperatures can be dangerous - young children and the elderly are especially vulnerable during a heatwave. It’s important that you keep babies under six months out of direct sunlight, especially at midday. I would also urge residents to take the time to check on older relatives or neighbours during a heatwave to make sure they are coping and know how to do to keep comfortable – keeping in mind to stick to the government’s social distancing guidelines when doing so.
“By keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated, everyone can enjoy the sun safely!”
More information is available on the Cancer UK website – ways to enjoy the sun safely, cancerresearchuk.org and the government’s Heatwave Plan for England.