The heat health alert for Kent has been ramped up, leading to advice for vulnerable residents such as the old, the very young, and people with chronic or severe illness who could be at extra risk.
The level three warning means high temperatures have been reached and the sustained hot weather could lead to an increase in health problems so swift action is required immediately to protect people from the harmful effects.
There is a 90% probability of severe heat or heatwave in Southeast England between Tuesday, July 20 and Thursday, July 22. Daytime temperatures will be very warm or locally hot, with maximum temperatures reaching 30 Celsius, followed by warm nights. The risk reduces on Thursday.
Health experts are appealing to people to check on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves but adhering to any Government guidelines on social distancing that may still be in place. Key ‘Beat the Heat’ advice includes staying out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
KCC Acting Director for Public Health, Allison Duggal, said: “It’s the same common sense messaging as every summer but this year, as we continue to try and prevent the spread of Covid-19, we need people to think carefully about what you need to do to protect themselves, their family and friends 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 perhaps 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. Social distancing reminders of keeping two metres apart are still in place for residents out shopping or exercising.
- 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. As the lockdown continues, avoid busy areas such a beaches and country parks.
- 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 you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment.
Dr Navin Kumta, Clinical Chair of NHS Kent and Medway CCG said: “By taking simple precautions, such as staying hydrated and finding shade during the hottest parts of the day, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming ill and needing the services of the NHS.
Should you become unwell, unless it’s an emergency, please remember to use 111 as your first point of contact for medical support. By phoning 111 or visiting 111.nhs.uk, you will be directed to the right service for you.”
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