Keep cool and carry on

With hot weather expected over the next few days, Somerset County Council is asking people to keep an eye out for vulnerable friends and neighbours.

The Met Office has issued a Heat Health Alert Level 2 for Tuesday and Wednesday this week. Forecasters have stated there is a 60 per cent risk of a heatwave in the South West with risks highest inland in the east of the area. More hot weather may be due to follow.

Somerset County Council is asking people to keep an eye out for anyone who might need help maintaining their health and well-being or be struggling to cope in the sustained heat. Older people, children under two and people with heart or respiratory problems are particularly at risk.

Heat exhaustion can usually be treated by moving someone to a cooler place and giving fluids. If you are still concerned about someone’s health and well-being because of the heat call the NHS 111 service. If someone develops heatstroke with rapid heart rate, shallow quick breathing, high temperature, cramps and possibly dry skin it is a medical emergency and an ambulance should be called.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, said: “While many of us look forward to warm summer weather, heatwaves do come with a health warning.

“The health effects of intense heat can come on very quickly. So please enjoy the sunshine, but do so safely, and keep an eye on anyone you know who might be struggling to cope. Make sure they are keeping their home cool, drinking plenty of water and not doing any strenuous activity, particularly avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day.”

For more information on avoiding heat related health problems, go to http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Heatwave.aspx.