After a hot week, high temperatures are set to continue over the weekend and into next week, reaching potential record highs. Current forecasts are for 29 Celsius on Sunday, 33 on Monday and 36 on Tuesday. While many of us welcome long, sunny days, prolonged hot weather high temperatures can pose a significant health risk.
The main risks when it’s very hot are:
- Dehydration (not drinking enough)
- Heatstroke or heat exhaustion
The people most at risk, who may need to take extra precautions, are
- Older people, particularly anyone aged over 75
- People who live on their own, or in a care home
- Anyone with a long-term condition. This includes heart or lung condition, diabetes, Parkinson’s, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and some mental health conditions
- People who might find it hard to keep cool for any reason, including babies and very young children, people who are bed bound, and people with drug or alcohol issues
- Anyone who spends a lot of time outside or in hot places. This may include homeless people, those living in a top floor flat (which can be hotter as heat rises), and people who work outdoors
The best ways to stay safe and well in these high temperatures are:
- If you know anyone on the above list of people more at risk, look out for them. Check in and see how they are coping and if they need any help
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- Stay out of the sun from 11am-3pm as much as possible
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle – especially infants
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly, and wear a wide-brimmed hat
- Take water when out and about
- Use cool, shady spaces with consideration for others. Covid cases are increasing, so observe social distancing and wear a mask as needed
- Avoid exercising during the hottest part of the day
- Keep your home as cool as possible. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun and open windows on opposite sides of a room to create a cross-breeze
Julia Weldon, Director of Public Health at Hull City Council, said: “Many of us enjoy warm weather but it can be dangerous for any of us, and particularly risky for anyone who is vulnerable.
“Following the advice on how to stay cool, protected and hydrated will be enough to ensure most of us stay well. However if you are at greater risk you may need to take extra care – for example, staying out of the sun completely. If you care for, or know someone with a vulnerability, make sure you check in with them.
“The heat is set to be with us for at least the next week, so it’s important to factor it into your day-to-day plans and make changes if you need to”.
Dr James Crick, Consultant in Public Health Medicine and Associate Medical Director, speaking on behalf of the Hull Health and Care Partnership, said: “Whilst we want everyone to enjoy themselves in the sun, we are reminding people to take extra care of themselves, especially those most vulnerable to becoming unwell in the heat.
“The hot weather can pose serious health risks to some people so it’s important to look out for one another over the next week or so. Most of the hot weather advice is common sense, such as keeping cool and hydrated, but it is easy to forget when we’re not used to such high temperatures locally”.
For signs and symptoms of heatstroke, visit nhs.uk and search ‘heatstroke’.