A heatwave alert for Kent has been issued from 9am today until 9am on Friday.
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.
Health and social care workers are regularly checking the people they care for who are most at risk. Kent’s health experts are also appealing to people to check on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
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 also 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: “Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But before the hot weather arrives, it is a really good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your 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. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.
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