Health warnings have been activated across the UK with people being advised to keep a close eye on the vulnerable and elderly, as temperatures are expected to reach up to 35C in parts of the country within the next two weeks.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKSHA) has put in place health alerts today (July 12th) which will last up until the end of the week. The south and east of England have been issued with an amber level three alert, while the rest of England has been issued with a level two alert.
In addition to looking out for the elderly and vulnerable, parents have been advised to limit their children’s time out in the sun.
Head of extreme events and health protection at UKHSA, Dr. Agostinho Sousa, said: “If you have vulnerable family, friends, and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.”
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Furthermore, Dr. Sousa has urged people to stay hydrated and attempt to find areas of shade when possible.
The agency has also suggested people cover up their windows that are exposed to direct sunlight and check that medicines are stored in the correct areas within the correct temperatures.
Effects of Extreme Heat
Exposure to extreme heat for a large amount of time can have significant impacts on the human body.
As the body gets warmer, blood vessels will begin to open up and as a result, could lead to lower blood pressure and make it more difficult for the heart to push blood throughout the body.
Simultaneously, this can cause mild symptoms including swollen feet or an itchy heat rash as blood vessels become ‘leaky’.
In combination with lower blood pressure, this can bring about symptoms such as:
- Muscle cramps
- Heavy sweating
How to Cope With the Heat
The UKSHA has several tips to help you cope with the soaring temperature:
- Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions, and those who live alone are particularly at risk
- Stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- Do not leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants and young children
- Attempt to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
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