Warning to take extra care during heatwave

West Sussex is enjoying a heatwave this week
West Sussex is enjoying a heatwave this week

West Sussex residents are being urged to take extra care during the heatwave and to keep an eye out for vulnerable friends and neighbours.

The Met Office has declared a Level 2 heat-health alert and forecast heatwave conditions until 6pm on Thursday (July 21), with the highest temperatures likely tomorrow (Wednesday).

The temperatures in the South East are expected to reach 31°C during the day and 16°C overnight.

High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly, or those with serious health conditions. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

People are being encouraged to keep an eye out for anyone who might need help maintaining their health and wellbeing or struggle to cope in the hot weather.

Christine Field, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “While many of us look forward to warm summer weather, heatwaves do come with a health warning.

“The health effects of intense heat can come on very quickly. So please enjoy the sunshine, but do so safely, and keep an eye on anyone you know who may struggle to cope. Make sure they are keeping their home cool, drinking plenty of water and not doing any strenuous activity, particularly avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day.”

Some easy tips to cope in hot weather are:

• avoid getting too hot in the first place – keep windows closed if it is cooler inside, close curtains or blinds

• check your home’s thermostat or thermometer to see how hot your home is getting

• have plenty of cold drinks and avoid alcohol

• have regular cool baths and showers

• avoid being outside during the hottest part of the day (11am to 3pm), stay in the shade and avoid strenuous activity

• wear appropriate cool, light clothing and a hat

• when going outside, make sure you and your family use sun cream at all times to protect your skin.

Anyone worried about their health during hot weather or a heatwave, especially if taking medication, feeling unwell or having any unusual symptoms such as cramp in arms, legs or stomach, weaknesses or problems sleeping should contact their doctor, speak to a pharmacist, or call NHS 111 or visit the website at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk.

Alternatively get a neighbour or friend to help you get help.

For more information about hot weather and health please visit the council’s website.

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