Top tips for Lancashire’s Heatwave

July 18, 2022
With the arrival of extreme heat over Monday 18th July and Tuesday 19th July, the Met Office has issued an amber warning for North and Central Lancashire as well as a red weather warning for South Lancashire. The severe weather that the county is to experience, as well as the rest of England, is now officially classed as a Level 4 Heatwave (National Emergency) alert.

 

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office have put together top tips to help you stay cool over this time:

  • stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest

 

This unprecedented weather indicates that there could be impacts beyond health and social care, with the chance of effects on transport systems, food, water, energy supplies and businesses too.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA said:

Temperatures in England next week are likely to reach record levels, and it’s important we all know how to stay well in hot weather. Check up on vulnerable friends, family and neighbours to make sure they stay hydrated, keep cool and know how to keep their homes cool.

Professor Penny Endersby, Chief Executive at the Met Office, said:

This is the first time we have issued a Red National Severe Weather Warning for extreme heat and the first time 40°C has been forecast in the UK. In this country we’re used to treating a hot spell as a chance to go and play in in the sun. This is not that sort of weather.

We have seen when climate change has driven such unprecedent severe weather events around the world that it can be difficult for to make the best decisions because nothing in our life experiences has led us to know what to expect.

 
Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke

 

Heat exhaustion, usually, is not serious as long as you can cool your body down within 30 minutes of signs exhibiting.

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are:

  • a headache
  • dizziness and confusion
  • loss of appetite and feeling sick
  • excessive sweating and clammy skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or fast pulse
  • a high temperature, above 38 degrees Celsius or above
  • being very thirsty.

The symptoms are often the same in adults as well as in children, however, children may exhibit sleepiness and become floppy.

If any of these signs are being presented within someone, they must be cooled down.  

To cool someone down when they are presenting signs of heat exhaustion you should:

  • move them to a cool place
  • get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly
  • get them to drink lots of water/
  • Cool their skin using a sponge with cool water and fan them.

After the 30 minutes has ended and the person has not improved, you can always call 111 or head to the 111 website for advice.

However, if symptoms do not improve within the 30-minute period and their symptoms have developed into:

  • Fast breathing or shortness of breath
  • A fit (seizure)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unresponsive

If someone does show signs of any of the symptoms of heatstroke above, put the person in the recovery position and call 999.



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