A heatwave warning has been announced for Kent, leading to advice by health experts to help vulnerable residents stay safe and well.
The level two alert has been triggered by a Met Office forecast of a 70 per cent chance of temperatures reaching heatwave conditions between Thursday morning and Saturday. It reports that warm air focused in the west on Friday will become more widespread across the region on Saturday. It’ll feel very humid, particularly on Saturday with cooler conditions expected from Sunday onwards.
As most heat-related deaths occur in the first two days, this is an important stage at which to make sure people are ready – and swift action can be taken to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.
Health and social care workers have already identified the people they care for who are most at risk and made plans to protect them if the heatwave happens. Now that a heatwave is forecast, staff will be checking on vulnerable people and making sure steps are taken to protect them.
KCC supports the NHS campaign “Cover Up, Mate” which aims to encourage men who work outdoors, such as farmers, builders, gardeners and sportsmen, to take a safer approach to the sun in summer in order to help reduce the incidence of skin cancer; the incidence of skin cancer in men is increasing at a faster rate than it is for women.
KCC Director for Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “Weather like this is something many people look forward to every year and go out and enjoy. But it’s worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people. It’s important to protect yourself from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling and to think of those, such as young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.”
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.
- Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down.
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 or go to www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx
The free web app Health Help Now can be used to check symptoms or to find out when and where local services are open. It can be downloaded to mobile phones (from the App Store and Google Play), tablets, laptops and desktop computers from www.healthhelpnow-nhs.net
Notes to editors:
More information about what KCC is doing to protect the people of Kent is available through www.kent.gov.uk/heatwave
More information about the Heatwave Plan for England is available at www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england
More information on the NHS “Cover up Mate” campaign is available through www.nhs.uk/livewell/skin/pages/sunsafe.aspx