Stay safe in the sun

30-06-2015

Yorkshire and the Humber may experience “heatwave” conditions from Tuesday this week, so Public Health England (PHE) Yorkshire and the Humber is urging people to think how it may impact them.

The Met Office has forecast potential heatwave conditions for all parts of England except the north east, and has declared a Level 2 Heat-health alert.

This warning is triggered when the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60% or higher chance of temperatures being high enough on at least 2 consecutive days and the intervening night to have a significant effect on health.

Martyn Regan, Centre Director for PHE Yorkshire and the Humber said:

“While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“We want everyone to be able to enjoy the good weather safely. Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them, help them stay hydrated with plenty of cool drinks, and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.

“Try to keep bedroom and living spaces cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when you can. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat. A trip to a park where there’s lots of shade or a public building that is air conditioned, may help offer some relief from the heat for vulnerable people.”

Many members of the Muslim community may be fasting during the current period of Ramadan. During hot weather it’s important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water. The Muslim Council of Britain and the NHS have published lots of useful information for those likely affected during this period.

Advice for keeping safe in the heat:

  •          try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  •          apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection
  •          wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes
  •          wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf
  •          drink lots of cool drinks
  •          look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  •          never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

Local authorities, professionals and community groups can prepare for hot weather by reviewing the Heatwave Plan for England on the PHE website.

Ends

Notes to editors:

  •          See the Heatwave Plan for England for more information. Be Sunsmart and visit the Met Office website for up-to-date forecasts. Advice on enjoying a healthy Ramadan is available from NHS Choices.
  •          Public Health England (PHE) exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.
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