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Heat health alert warning

Published : 22/06/2020

A heat health warning has been announced for Kent, leading to advice to help vulnerable residents stay safe and well.

The level two alert has been triggered by a Met Office forecast of an 80 per cent probability of heat health criteria being met between Wednesday and Friday this week. Temperatures are expected to climb and temperatures exceeding 30 Celsius are expected quite widely across the region.

Many people who are at higher risk of ill health due to the hot weather are also at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19).

KCC Director for Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark, said: “Weather like this is something many people look forward to every year and go out and enjoy but it’s worth remembering that sunny spells can pose health risks for some. As many people are still restricted on when and how they leave their homes, it’s important to protect yourself from too much sun or heat such as ensuring your home is cool and to carry water when travelling, queuing for shops etc. Again we appeal to Kent residents to look after young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.”

Drink water

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying 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
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines
  • Follow COVID-19 social distancing guidance and wash your hands regularly
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • 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, when the UV rays are strongest
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • During warm weather going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief, take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into open water to cool down
  • Remember that while COVID-19 restrictions are in place, you will need to follow any additional government guidance to use public spaces safely

People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment. 

The NHS website - www.nhs.uk - continues to provide reliable advice and guidance throughout the year on how to keep fit and well. It includes information on how to stay well in hot weather.

If you are vulnerable and have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the Kent Together helpline at www.kent.gov.uk/KentTogether or by calling 03000 41 92 92. It is a 24 hour service up to support vulnerable people in Kent who need urgent help, supplies or medication. It is also the place to report your concerns about the welfare of someone else.

More information about what KCC is doing to protect the people of Kent is available through www.kent.gov.uk/heatwave

The Met Office is the UK’s National Weather Service, providing world-renowned scientific excellence in weather, climate and environmental forecasts and severe weather warnings for the protection of life and property. See www.metoffice.gov.uk.