Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long there are health risks, especially for the very young, the elderly and the seriously ill. If hot weather hits this summer, take steps to make sure it doesn't harm you or anyone you know.
Anyone can experience heat-related symptoms but some people may have a higher risk of serious harm. These include:
Mostly, it’s a matter of common sense. Listen to your local weather forecast so you know if a heatwave is on the way. Planning ahead can reduce your own risk of getting ill and help protect anyone you know who could be vulnerable.
Here are some top tips for keeping cool:
Stay out of the heat:
Cool yourself down:
Keep your environment cool:
Check on people you know who may be at risk. Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool. Please think about vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours. You may not be affected by the hot weather, but they may be.
There is a national reporting system which alerts everyone to the risk and seriousness of a heatwave. Announcements will be broadcast alongside national and regional weather forecasts if a heatwave is predicted, and will update you if we enter into one.
There are also threshold temperatures for each region around the country which can trigger a health alert. If we reach a temperature of 31C by day or of 16C overnight in West Sussex this would trigger a health alert locally. Visit the West Sussex County Council website to sign up to email and text alerts. If you would like to follow the heat-health watch forecasts for yourself, visit the Met Office website.
Level one is the minimum alert and is in place from 1 June until 15 September, from which the level will be increased as the weather heats up.
HeatAlert Sussex is a service that, once you have signed up, will provide free “heatwave warnings”, particularly for those with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, vulnerable residents, parents of young children, carers and healthcare professionals across Sussex.
Visit NHS Choice’s summer health information pages where you’ll find lots more information about what to do in a heatwave, along with details on other topics such as:
See the Beat the heat: staying safe in hot weather leaflet, which is part of the Heatwave Plan for England.
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