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What to do to keep safe in extreme heat

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The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have today issued a Level 3 heat-health alert for the South West region. The alert is in place until 9am on Friday 15 July with temperatures across the country set to be high across the duration of this week (11-15 July 2022).

A heatwave is an extended period of hot weather relative to the expected conditions of the area at that time of year, which may be accompanied by high humidity. A UK heatwave threshold is met when a location records a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold. There is high confidence that temperatures will be widely hot across most of England, and temperatures are likely to peak into the low 30s.

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

The UKSHA have published a blog with further advice on how to stay safe this summer. You can read the blog here.

More information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke are available on NHS.UK.

If you are concerned about someone’s health and well-being because of the heat call the NHS 111 service. If someone develops heatstroke with rapid heart rate, shallow quick breathing, high temperature, cramps and possibly dry skin it is a medical emergency and an ambulance should be called using 999.

Thank you. You response is appreciated.

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