A heatwave is predicted this week from Wednesday morning through to Friday evening. The met office has assigned this as “Level 2 – Alert and Readiness” on the Heatwave Plan 2020 produced by the Government.
According to the Met Office there is an 80 % probability of Heat-Health criteria being met between 0900 on Wednesday and 2100 on Friday in parts of England.
An update will be issued when the alert level changes in any region. Alerts are issued once a day by 0900 if required and are not subject to amendment in between standard issue times. Note that the details of the forecast weather are valid at the time of issue but may change over the period that an alert remains in force.
Dr Pervez Muzaffar, a GP in Darwen and a clinical lead at Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“Although many of us enjoy the sunshine, changes in the climate mean we are increasingly likely to experience extreme summer temperatures which may be harmful to our health. Please keep social distancing even if the weather and sunshine looks very appealing.”
Dr David White, Clinical Lead for Urgent Care at the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s), said:
“We all need to make sure everyone takes simple precautions to stay healthy during periods of hot weather and when out in the sun. A heatwave can affect everybody’s health, but particularly the most vulnerable people in society.”
High-risk groups Community: include over 75s, females, people living on own and isolated, those with severe physical or mental illness; people in urban areas, particularly those in south-facing top flats; those with alcohol and/or drug dependency, the homeless, babies and young children, people on multiple medications and over-exertion.
High-risk groups in Care homes or hospital: over 75s, females, the frail, those with severe physical or mental illness; those on multiple medications; babies and young children (hospitals).
Stay out of the heat:
- Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
- If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
- Avoid extreme physical exertion
- Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes
Cool yourself down:
- have plenty of cold drinks, and 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
- place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature
- 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
- if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
- electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C2
For more information about how to manage in a heatwave please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/