The Met Office has issued a warning for an exceptionally hot spell of weather on Monday and Tuesday next week, July 18 and 19, leading to significant impacts on both people and infrastructure.
Halton is expected to experience temperatures in excess of 35 degrees Celsius with peak temperatures predicted for Monday and Tuesday.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said that population-wide adverse health effects will not be limited to those most vulnerable to extreme heat and are advising that people should make a number of substantial changes in working practices and daily routines.
UKHSA’s Beat the heat checklist identifies suitable actions people can take to protect themselves during periods of hot weather. Advice on how to reduce the risk either for yourself or somebody you know can also be obtained from the NHS website https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/seasonal-health/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather NHS 111 or from your local chemist.
Sarah Johnson Griffiths, Halton Borough Council’s Deputy Director of Public Health, said: “Planning ahead for hot weather is vital, particularly for those for whom the heat poses possible health risks. These include babies and young children, the elderly and those with chronic or long-term conditions. It’s good to prepare wherever possible, for example, by shopping ahead for food and medicines, and looking out for others. If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.”
Key advice for residents:
- 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
- try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest
- drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
- stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- if you have to go out in the heat, try to walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear suitable clothing e.g. loose cotton clothes or a sunhat
- if you need to travel by road or rail prepare for the journey by bringing plenty of water – there could be disruption to travel networks·
- take care and make sure to follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down (for example follow the Water Safety Code from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents at https://www.rospa.com/leisure-water-safety/water/advice/water-safety-code)
- check medicines can be stored according to the instructions on the packaging
- check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly.
Signs of heat-related harm
Look out for signs of dehydration such as increased thirst, a dry mouth, dark urine, and urinating infrequently or small amounts. Serious dehydration needs urgent medical attention
Signs of heatstroke:
- feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water
- not sweating even while feeling too hot
- a high temperature of 40C or above
- fast breathing or shortness of breath
- feeling confused
- a fit (seizure)
- loss of consciousness
- not responsive.
Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly.
Put the person in the recovery position if they lose consciousness while you’re waiting for help.
Call 999 if a person develops any signs of heatstroke as this is a medical emergency.
Only call 999 if it is an emergency, if someone is seriously ill, injured or their life is at risk. Less urgent advice can be obtained by calling NHS 111 or visiting their website www.111.nhs.uk
Further information on heatstroke and heat-related illness is also available at Heat exhaustion and heatstroke – NHS (www.nhs.uk)