Heatwave

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But before the hot weather arrives, it is a really good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat.  With June drawing to a close the temperatures are finally starting to go up. 

Public Health England recommends the following advice:

  • Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, such as sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day – for example, in the early morning or evening
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • When travelling ensure you take water with you
  • Look out for others: Keep an eye on isolated, older people, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool. Check on older people or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during hot weather. 
  • Ensure that babies, children or older people are not left alone in stationary cars
  • Keep your environment cool: keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, older people or those with long-term health conditions or anyone who cannot look after themselves
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat
  • If you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink some water or diluted fruit juice to rehydrate, avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks like tea or coffee.
  • If you have to go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection and wear a hat. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn

Public Health England, Department of Health and NHS England have produced guidance documents intended to protect our population from heat-related harm to health and can be found on the website:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england

The Local Resilience Forum considers heat wave a national risk because of the consequences of high temperatures over a prolonged period:

Consequences

  • Excess deaths in vulnerable groups due to high temperatures
  • Increased number of admissions to hospitals / visits to GPs (sunburn, heat exhaustion)
  • Traffic congestion / vehicle breakdowns (overheating engines)
  • Melting road surfaces
  • Railways warping and bending
  • Reduced air quality
  • Reduced water quality
  • Disruption to power supplies during a period of high demand
  • Animal welfare impact due to poor ventilation
  • Water shortages
  • Damage to crops and horticulture
  • Increased risk of moorland and forest fires

Advice about preparing for a Heatwave can be found on the NHS Choices website:

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/#risk

 

Risk Rating: Medium

Crowded beach

Follow Public Health England (PHE) on Twitter

@phe_SouthWest for the Dorset area

@phe_UK for national information