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Health warnings issued as UK heatwave continues

NHS England issues amber health heatwave alert as temperatures in the UK soar above those in the Bahamas.
heat

Health warnings have been issued as this week's heatwave has sent UK temperatures soaring above those of the Bahamas and Acapulco.

NHS England has triggered an amber alert, which is the second-highest heatwave warning and is made when the Met Office confirms heatwave conditions in one or more regions.

The level three heat-health alert covers the period from 9am on Monday to the same time on Thursday, meaning there is a 90% chance of heatwave temperatures over this period.

Nurses and carers are advised to watch out for vulnerable people, including older patients or residents, who are particularly affected by hot weather.

Most vulnerable

People over 75, babies and young children, those with mobility problems, serious mental health problems, and people who misuse alcohol or drugs are among

Health warnings have been issued as this week's heatwave has sent UK temperatures soaring above those of the Bahamas and Acapulco.

heat
Nurses and carers are advised to watch out for vulnerable people. Picture: Alamy

NHS England has triggered an amber alert, which is the second-highest heatwave warning and is made when the Met Office confirms heatwave conditions in one or more regions.

The level three heat-health alert covers the period from 9am on Monday to the same time on Thursday, meaning there is a 90% chance of heatwave temperatures over this period.

Nurses and carers are advised to watch out for vulnerable people, including older patients or residents, who are particularly affected by hot weather.

Most vulnerable

People over 75, babies and young children, those with mobility problems, serious mental health problems, and people who misuse alcohol or drugs are among the most vulnerable to heat-related issues.

General advice includes wearing cool clothing, drinking cool drinks and avoiding alcohol, caffeine and very sweet drinks, having cool baths or showers and splashing yourself with water.

Joint guidance from NHS England and Public Health England (PHE) also emphasises the importance of ‘staying connected’. This includes keeping an eye on people on medications that affect sweating and temperature control such as diuretics, beta-blockers and anti-psychotics.

Safe while enjoying

North East Essex Clinical Commissioning Group public health consultant Danny Showell said: ‘All sensible people know doing simple things will keep you safe while enjoying the hot weather.

‘Drink cool drinks when thirsty, avoid too much direct sun exposure and be generous with the sun cream.

‘Keep an eye out for friends, family and neighbours who might be particularly vulnerable: older people, babies and young children, and those with chronic condition such as breathing or heart problems.’

Ramadan advice

Dr Showell added that anyone travelling should take drinks with them and people who are vulnerable to the heat should avoid the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm.

PHE also has separate advice for Muslims fasting during Ramadan.

It advises those observing Ramadan to drink before dawn and if they become dehydrated to break the fast to rehydrate, saying ‘this can be compensated by fasting at a later date’.

A level four heat-health alert is the highest UK alert and is issued when a heatwave is severe and/or prolonged, reaching an emergency situation which can also affect the fit and healthy.

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