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. Forecasters have stated there is a 60 per cent risk of a temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night to have a significant effect on health in the South West. 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 people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks. Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.’

Top advice for being sun safe:
• Try to keep out of the sun between 11 am and 3pm
• Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, wear a hat and a light scarf. Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes, this should minimize the risk of sunburn.
• Drink lots of cool drinks and when travelling ensure you take water with you.
• Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses.
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially older people, infants young children or animals.
See the Heatwave Plan for England for more information or http://sunsmart.org.uk/UV-the-sun-and-skincancer/how-to-enjoy-the-sun-safely

Ends

For further information, please contact the Press Office on 01823 355020 or email pressoffice@somerset.gov.uk

Notes to Editors

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