A hot weather warning has been announced, leading to advice by Kent’s public health experts to help vulnerable residents stay safe and well.

The level two alert has been triggered by a Met Office forecast of a 60 per cent probability of heat health criteria being met between Tuesday 9 August and Friday 12 August. It is expected that daytime temperature could reach low-to-mid 30 degrees Celsius (86-95 degrees Fahrenheit) over these days.

As most heat-related deaths occur in the first two days, this is an important stage at which to make sure people are ready – and swift action can be taken to reduce harm from a potential heatwave.

KCC Assistant Director of Public Health, Jess Mookherjee, said: “We have already experienced some very hot weather this summer. We are encouraging Kent’s residents to enjoy the heat safely and to remember that high temperatures can also pose serious health risks, especially for young children, older people or those with certain health conditions. If you know someone who may be at additional risk or need some extra help in the heat, check in on them if you can. Remember to take the usual precautions yourself too; drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, UV glasses and loose, comfortable clothing. Try not to travel in the heat of the day if possible and plan travel in advance, with plenty of time for comfort breaks.”

Important points to remember in hot weather are to keep cool, stay hydrated and be prepared. Key advice is to:

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and 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. Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat if you have to go out in the heat. Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • Take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down.
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes.
  • If you are travelling, make sure you take water with you, check weather forecasts and traffic news.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.

People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment.

Dame Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway said: “However much we might like the sun, we know that it can have detrimental effects on your health, especially for the young, our elderly residents and those who are most vulnerable. By taking simple precautions, such as staying hydrated and finding shade during the hottest parts of the day, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming ill and needing the services of the NHS.  Could I also ask you where appropriate to check in on your vulnerable neighbours, families and friends.

Should you become unwell, unless it’s an emergency, please remember to use 111 as your first point of contact for medical support. By phoning 111 or visiting 111.nhs.uk, you will be directed to the right service for you.

You can also visit our dedicated website – www.stopthinkchoose.co.uk – which lists local services, such as pharmacies and urgent treatment centres.”

More help

The NHS website – www.nhs.uk – continues to provide reliable advice and guidance throughout the year on how to keep fit and well. It includes information on how to stay well in hot weather www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/heatwave-how-to-cope-in-hot-weather

More information about what KCC is doing to protect the people of Kent is available through www.kent.gov.uk/heatwave

By Ed

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