With hot weather forecast next week, Somerset County Council is asking people to keep an eye out for themselves, vulnerable family and friends and neighbours.
Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-to-high twenties across much of Somerset next week and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued a Level 2 Heat Health Warning for the South West.
Cllr Adam Dance, Lead Member for Public Health, Equalities and Diversity at Somerset County Council has shared some helpful advice for staying cool in the warm weather:
“Weather like this is something that many people look forward to, and go out and enjoy. However, it is worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people. It’s important to protect yourself and others 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 than others.”
Professor Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, added:
“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. Before hot weather arrives, it is a good time to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat. If spending time outdoors remember to take water or other hydrating drinks with you and protect yourself from the sun during the hottest hours of the day, usually between 11:00-15:00.
“For some people, especially older people and those with underlying health conditions, the summer heat can bring real health risks. Temperatures indoors can be higher than temperatures outdoors. That is why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you are able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.”
Some helpful tips for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:
- look out for others, especially older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
- stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- Keep drinks within easy reach – water is better than sugary or caffeinated drinks for staying hydrated. 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, when the UV rays are strongest
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
- make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
If you are concerned about someone’s health and well-being because of the heat call the NHS 111 service. If someone develops heatstroke with rapid heart rate, shallow quick breathing, high temperature, cramps and possibly dry skin it is a medical emergency and an ambulance should be called using 999.