Heatwave health warning issued by NHS Warwickshire

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AS RUGBY enjoys soaring temperatures, the county council and NHS Warwickshire are reinforcing the messages in the Government’s heatwave plans to protect the vulnerable.

Young children and older people are at particular risk from the effects of the heat and overexposure to the sun, though it is important for everyone to realise the effects extreme heat has on bodies and take steps to protect themselves, from dehydration, heat stroke or skin cancer.

The Coventry, Solihull & Warwickshire (CSW) Resilience Team is working with colleagues in health and social care to raise awareness with the public before and during heatwaves to ensure that the most vulnerable Warwickshire residents, particularly older people, receive support.

Sally Lange, Emergency Planning Officer with CSW, said: “The risks from hot weather are very real. People can keep themselves safe by planning ahead, listening to their local weather forecasts and taking care in the sun. The advice from the Department of Health may sound like common sense but when the temptation is to get out and enjoy the hot weather people still need to be aware that extreme heat can seriously damage your health”.

When temperatures are higher than usual, simple measures such as ensuring windows can be opened and shaded, checking that there are enough fans and that those at risk drink plenty of water, can all help to reduce the health risks.

More information and advice is available from the Warwickshire Prepared website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/heatwave and a copy of the leaflet can be downloaded from this page.

Advice is also being distributed to social care managers and staff who will be able to identify those most at risk and ensure that appropriate care is provided if temperatures reach heat wave levels.

Dr John Linnane, Director of Public Health for NHS Warwickshire and Warwickshire County Council, said: “We want to ensure that vulnerable people, including older people and those with long term illnesses, are protected if there is a period of hot weather. Although it is great to have some sun, people need to be aware of the dangers associated with the heat. Simple things such as wearing a hat if you go out to protect your head and face, drinking plenty of fluids, like juice or water – avoiding coffee and alcohol and keeping in the shade can help you stay well.”