With temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius in the West Midlands, the Met Office have sent out a heatwave alert and people are being urged to look out for themselves and vulnerable residents by taking steps towards staying cool.
Although welcomed by most, hot weather can cause a real danger to health – particularly to the very elderly and the seriously ill. People with existing medical conditions, young children and babies are also potentially at risk during a warm spell.
The highest temperatures are predicted to last until Friday this week (26 June), and these temperatures could be high enough to have a significant effect on health.
Councillor Les Caborn, portfolio holder for Adult social care and health at Warwickshire County Council said:
“During hot spells vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, feel the severe effects of heat more than others and it’s long been recognised that death rates rise in heat waves.
“The best advice is to relax, stay cool, drink lots of cold fluids and, if you can, keep an eye on those you know to be at risk. If you are self-isolating, you need to continue to do so, but make sure to take steps to remain as cool as possible.”
Coventry City Councillor Kamran Caan, Portfolio Holder for Public Health and Sport, added:
“It is very important to understand the health risks related to temperatures rising during the summer months.
Exposure in these excessive temperatures can bring on heat-related illnesses, so it is important to try and prevent these by protecting yourself through necessary measures.
Being a good neighbour and checking in on relatives and friends who may be vulnerable to the heat can help us all stay healthy in the sun.”
Health and social care partners across Coventry and Warwickshire have come together to give some simple advice on how to enjoy the hot weather responsibly.
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm;
- Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes;
- Walk in the shade, remembering to stay 2m apart from anyone not in your household.
- Apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection;
- Wear a hat and light scarf;
- Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes;
- Drink lots of cool drinks;
- Look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as elderly people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses; and
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.