Heat Health Warning for Vulnerable Kent Residents

A hot weather warning has been announced, leading to advice by Kent’s public health experts to help vulnerable residents stay safe and well.

The level three alert has been triggered by a Met Office forecast of a 90 per cent probability of severe heat or heatwave in Southeast England, including Kent, from Monday (11 July) through to Friday (15 July). It is expected that daytime temperatures could reach over 30 degrees Celsius over these days.

High temperatures can be particularly concerning for vulnerable residents such as the old, the very young, and people with chronic or severe illness who could be at extra risk. As most heat-related deaths occur in the first two days, it is important to make sure people are ready – and swift action can be taken to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

Health experts are appealing to people to check on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves. Key advice includes keeping cool, staying hydrated and being prepared – for example, staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, drinking cold drinks regularly, such as water and avoiding tea, coffee and alcohol.

KCC Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, said: “It’s the same common sense messaging as every summer but remains vital that people think carefully about what they need to do to protect themselves, their family and especially particularly vulnerable people from heat.

“For some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. So, if you can, take the opportunity to check in on those family members, friends and neighbours who might need extra assistance.”

Key advice in hot weather includes:

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions.
  • 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 and wear a hat if you have to go out in the heat. Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • Take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down.
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes.
  • If you are travelling, make sure you take water with you, check weather forecasts and traffic news.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.

People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If in any doubt they are advised to contact NHS111 or to visit the NHS’ dedicated website – www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk – which lists local services, such as pharmacies and urgent treatment centres.

The NHS website – www.nhs.uk – continues to provide reliable advice and guidance throughout the year on how to keep fit and well. It includes information on how to stay well in hot weather www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather

More information about what KCC is doing to protect the people of Kent is available through www.kent.gov.uk/heatwave

Heat Health Warning for Vulnerable Kent Residents was last modified: July 8th, 2022 by Hayley Buery