A HEATWAVE warning with temperatures hitting 30C has been issued by the Met Office, and residents are urged to take extra care.
A level three alert has been sounded for the south east between tomorrow (Thursday) and Sunday, and while some areas are predicted to hit 36C, the New Forest should see no more than 30C, with Christchurch around 27C.
In response to this, Hampshire County Council has put out advice on how to keep safe in such conditions.
HCC’s executive member for public health, Councillor Judith Grajewski, said: “It’s really important to look after yourself and those around you in the heatwave by following advice for protecting yourself, anyone you care for and people who are vulnerable to the heat. Above all, don’t underestimate the temperature and take action to stay well whilst heatwave conditions prevail.”
The council warns that groups particularly affected include babies and very young children, older people, people with pre-existing medical conditions such as heart conditions, diabetes, respiratory or kidney problems, Parkinson’s disease or severe mental illness, as well as those on medications which affect renal function, sweating or make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Some housing situations may also affect people’s ability to keep cool, such as living near the top of high-rise flats or being homeless, the authority added.
Meanwhile, Dorset Police is pleading with visitors and residents to behave themselves as the heat is dialled up.
The force is reminding those out and about in the county’s public areas to take their rubbish home with them, respect social distancing rules and not to use disposable barbecues in an effort to “protect Dorset for everyone”.
Neighbourhood Policing Chief Inspector Jim Beashel said: “The recent hot weather has brought crowds of visitors and residents to our beaches and beauty spots, the majority of whom behave in a considerate and respectful way.
“As it was widely publicised during the last heatwave, a lot of litter was left behind on our beaches and there has already been a lot of devastation caused to local areas as a result of barbecues not being disposed of safely.
“Everyone is welcome to Dorset, we just ask that people be responsible by disposing of litter correctly and act respectfully so everyone can enjoy the beauty that Dorset has to offer.”
The Department of Health has also issued the following advice:
- Stay out of the heat:
- Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm;
- If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply a high SPF sunscreen and wear a hat and/or light scarf;
- Avoid extreme physical exertion;
- Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
- Cool yourself down:
- Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks;
- Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content;
- Take a cool shower, bath or body wash;
- Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
- Keep your environment cool:
- Keep your living space cool – this is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves;
- Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature;
- Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped;
- Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun. However, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space;
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat;
- Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air;
- If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping;
- Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C.
For more information on heat-related illnesses and what to do should you or someone you know feel unwell visit www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather/. Alternatively, call NHS 111 or a GP. Call 999 in an emergency.