AN urgent heat health warning has been issued to the most vulnerable Brits as the Met Office predicts highs of 35C.
Official forecasts from the Met state that high temperatures are expected to last until Sunday and in many areas – wont drop below the low 20s.
Medics have warned that parents need to make sure children are hydrated during periods of hot weatherCredit: Getty
Medical chiefs have said that young children, those with underlying health conditions and the elderly are more likely to experience adverse health effects.
This is due to the fact that hot weather increases the risk of heat exhaustion and heatstroke in little ones.
Experts at the Department of Health and Social Care said infants and young children can be vulnerable during hot weather.
Guidance issued by them today states: “When playing outdoors on hot days, make sure they have plenty of water to keep them hydrated and sun cream to keep them protected.”
Hannah Cloke, a professor of hydrology at the University of Reading said that while this heatwave might not break any records for the maximum temperatures it might cause more deaths.
“Compared to the July record-breaking heat, this event will be less intense but last longer, which could actually have a greater impact on people’s health.
“We know that the most dangerous heat conditions are caused when people, particularly those with underlying health conditions, have no respite from the heat for days and nights on end,” she told The Times.
In older people, heart attacks and heart failure are also more likely as the heat puts a huge strain on the body.
Professor of climate science at the University of Bristol, Dann Mitchell added that the next few days posed a ‘very real health threat’ and predicted that the number of deaths caused by the heat could be in the hundreds.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) earlier this week issued an amber heatwave warning across the country.
The level 3 heat-health alert applies to all of England, but isn’t as severe as last month’s level 4 alert.
Dr Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at the UKHSA said while everyone should enjoy the weather, Brits need to remember that it can also have an impact on health.
“It’s important to ensure that people who are more vulnerable – elderly people who live alone and people with underlying health conditions – are prepared for coping during the hot weather.
“The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and take steps to prevent their homes from overheating,” Dr Sousa added.
How to stay safe in the heat
Hot weather can be difficult for most of us to deal with.
- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler
- If you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat, avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day (11am and 3pm).
- Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol – water, lower-fat milks and tea and coffee are good options.
- Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.
- Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
- Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
- Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
Met Office Deputy Chief Meteorologist, Tony Wardle, said: “Heatwave criteria look likely to be met for large areas of the UK later this week, with the hottest areas expected in central and southern England and Wales on Friday and Saturday.
“Temperatures could peak at 35C, or even an isolated 36C on Saturday.
“Coupled with the high daytime temperatures will be continued warm nights, with the mercury expected to drop to only around low 20s Celsius for some areas in the south.”
Medics state that during periods of hot weather, it’s key to look out for yourself and those around you.
Guidance states that you should always travel with water and avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day, between 11am and 3pm.
You should also drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol and wear sunscreen if you have to go out in the heat.
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