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Hot Weather Warning and Advice

Published on 13 July 2022 12:24 PM

The Met Office have released a Hot Weather Alert - Level 4 warning across the UK. 

Weather Forecast:

There is a 100 % probability of Heat-Health Alert criteria being met between 0000 on Monday and 0000 on Wednesday in parts of England.

Renewed hot or very hot conditions develop across the country during this coming weekend and into the new working week, peaking on Monday and Tuesday, with some exceptional temperatures possible in places. The hottest locations are likely to be in parts of central and eastern England. This alert will be kept under daily review and updated as necessary.

There can be serious health consequences from too much heat and older people are particularly at-risk if above average temperatures last for at least two days.

What is a heatwave?

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. 

Why is hot weather an issue?

Many people enjoy hot weather but there can be serious health consequences from too much heat and vulnerable groups are particularly at-risk in prolonged hot spells. In England, there are on average 2000 heat related deaths every year. 

Advice for the hot weather:

The sun and skin health: 

  • Use sunscreen of at least SPF 30. Apply it generously and top up at least every two hours. If you've been in water, reapply when you are dry. 
  • Apply sunscreen to any uncovered parts of your body. A hat will protect your head, face, ears and eyes. 

  • Choose sunglasses that have a CE mark, UV400 label or a statement that they offer 100 per cent UV (ultraviolet) protection.
  • When the weather is hot, your skin may also feel drier than usual. Using moisturiser can help keep your skin healthy.
  • If you have moles or brown patches on your skin, they usually remain harmless. But if they bleed, or change size, shape or colour, show them to your doctor without delay. For more information visit the Cancer Research UK website.

Sun exposure and vitamin D:

Although it’s important to protect your skin, some direct exposure to the sun is essential for the production of vitamin D.

  • There are some food sources of vitamin D – salmon, sardines and other oily fish, eggs and fortified spreads – but sunshine is the major source.
  • Don’t let your skin burn, but try to go outside once or twice every day without sunscreen for short periods from March to October. The more of your skin that is exposed, the better your chance of making enough vitamin D.
  • The Government recommends vitamin D supplements for some groups of the population, including people aged 65 and over.
  • If you think you could be at risk of not getting enough vitamin D, particularly if you are housebound or cover your skin for cultural reasons, raise this with your doctor. Always speak to your doctor before starting to take a vitamin supplement or over-the-counter medicine on a daily basis.

Dehydration and overheating:

It’s easy to become dehydrated or overheat when it’s hot outside.

How to avoid dehydration- 

  • Make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids. Aim to drink 6 – 8 glasses of liquid a day, and more if it’s hot.
  • Eat a balanced diet to help your body replace any salt you lose by sweating.

 

Symptoms of overheating-

Extreme heat and dry conditions can cause you to dehydrate and your body to overheat.

Watch out for certain signs – particularly for muscle cramps in your arms, legs or stomach, mild confusion, weakness or sleep problems. If you have any of these, rest in a cool place and drink plenty of fluids. Seek medical advice if your symptoms persist or worsen.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated – it can also develop suddenly and without warning.

Symptoms of heatstroke-

The symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • confusion
  • disorientation
  • seizures
  • loss of consciousness.

What to do-

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition. If you or someone else shows symptoms:

  • call 999 immediately, or 112 if you are in the European Union (you can call 112 from a mobile for free)
  • if you have a community alarm, press the button on your pendant to call for help
  • while waiting for the ambulance, follow the advice given for heat exhaustion but do not try to give fluids to anyone who is unconscious.

 

Tips for coping in hot weather:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • stay cool indoors – many of us will 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
  • if going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines
  • follow coronavirus social distancing guidance 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
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • if you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice
  • Remember that while coronavirus restrictions are in place, you will need to follow government guidance to use public spaces safely

Enjoy the weather but remember to stay safe in the sun! 

(All advice and tips were from the Met Office, NHS website & Age UK National)