People urged to take extra care as the heatwave hots up

Thursday 18th July, 2013

People across Coastal West Sussex are being urged to take action and extra care as the weather hots up this week.

Temperatures in West Sussex are expected to remain high over the next few days and possibly weeks.

The Met Office forecasts that in the next few days there is a 90 percent chance of temperatures in the south east increasing and the heatwave continuing to give rise to significant health risks – and a Level 3 alert has been issued.

High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for the very young, elderly, or those with serious health conditions.

The local NHS is urging everyone to see if they are at risk, think about vulnerable family members or friends, and to remember top tips for staying cool.

Please keep an eye out for neighbours and members of the local community who may be more vulnerable, and pop around to check they are okay during the heatwave.

There are some simple things everyone can do to stay cool and healthy in the extreme hot weather:

  • Stay inside in the coolest room you have, as much as possible.
  • Draw curtains during the day and don’t open windows if it is cooler inside than out.
  • Take cool showers or baths, and splash yourself several times a day with cold water, particularly on the face and back of your neck.
  • Try to eat cold foods such as salads and fruits, which contain water.
  • Drink regularly – water and fruit juices are best. Avoid alcohol as it can make dehydration worse.
  • Protect your skin by applying sun cream regularly when outside, and wear cool clothing and a hat when outside.

While many of us will enjoy a spell of much warmer weather, we need to look after ourselves and our more vulnerable residents to ensure everyone stays healthy and well. Extreme heat can affect anyone, not just the more vulnerable.

Health and social care workers in the community, hospitals and care homes are advised to regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 degrees, ensure patients have access to cold water and ice and that medicines are stored in a cool place.