Most of us welcome the warmer weather, however when it is too hot for too long there are health risks. 

Follow these tips to beat the heat during the warmer weather:

  • Drink plenty of fluid particularly water, aiming for at least two litres and avoiding alcohol, caffeine, or hot drinks

  • Dress appropriately and covering up including wearing a hat and sunglasses

  • Avoid the heat as much as possible and limiting going out during the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm)

  • Wear sunscreen with a minimum sun protection factor of SP15

  • Look out for vulnerable neighbours including older people and young children especially those who have an underlying health issue such as asthma or heart condition

  • Follow the weather updates and advice on keeping well

  • Find ways to keep homes cool

  • Call NHS 111 when you fall ill or get injured but it is not an emergency. 

Angela Tranter, Nurse Practitioner from a local GP surgery, offers some helpful tips for staying safe in the sun:

Heatwave

A ‘heatwave’ is triggered as soon as the Met Office reports the UK heatwave threshold has been met (thresholds differ by UK county– for the West Midlands it is 27 degrees Celsius). The location must record a period of at least three consecutive days with daily maximum temperatures meeting or exceeding the heatwave temperature threshold. The UK temperature threshold map can be seen here.

During a heatwave, temperatures that remain abnormally high over more than a couple of days can prove fatal. The rise in mortality, especially amongst older people, follows very sharply after the rise in temperature which contrasts with deaths associated with cold snaps in winter. This means that, by the time a heatwave starts, the window of opportunity for effective action is very short, therefore preparedness is essential. 

We follow Public Health England’s (PHE) ‘The Heatwave Plan for England’, as they aim to prevent avoidable harm to health, by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold and warm weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately.