Keep Somerset safe during hot weather

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 predicts high temperatures this week, and Public Health England has today issued a heat warning encouraging vulnerable people to take care during the exceptionally hot weather.

Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at Somerset County Council, said: “This spell of sunshine will be welcomed by many, especially with lockdown measures now starting to ease. However, it’s worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some people. As many people are spending more time at home this summer due to Covid-19, it’s particularly important to check in on older people and those with underlying health conditions, especially if they live alone and are socially isolating. Make sure they are keeping their home cool, drinking plenty of water and not doing any strenuous activity – avoiding the sun during the hottest part of the day.”

Councillor Clare Paul, Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing said: “Enjoy the sunshine, but do so safely, and keep an eye on anyone you know who might be struggling to cope. If you’re out and about, continue to follow the social distancing guidance, apply sunscreen regularly, stay hydrated, and protect your head from the sun”

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.

Top tips:

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • Stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping.
  • Keep drinks within easy reach – water is better than sugary or caffeinated drinks for staying hydrated. Avoid excess alcohol.
  • Have most of your drinks earlier in the day to prevent the need to get up at night
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • If meeting in a local park, remember to continue observing social distancing rules – this remains at 2 metres till 4th July, when rules will be eased.

Further information:

For more information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke visit NHS Choices.

Check the weather forecast and any high temperature health warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk

Watch Sparky the dragon explain his top 5 tips to protect yourself in the sun: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLb1BV5G6fc&t=3s