Heatwave health warnings continue in East Anglia

24 July 2018, 08:37 | Updated: 24 July 2018, 08:44

Heatwave

The heatwave health warnings are continuing in East Anglia.

After Norfolk County Council told us yesterday to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, today we're being urged to make sure we protect our eyes from dangerous UV rays.

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far, with a scorching 33.3C recorded in Suffolk.

Temperatures hovered around 21 degrees in parts of East Anglia past midnight.

Forecasters predict the mercury could soar above 34C by the end of the week.

The longest run of days with no rain at all this summer so far is 48 days at Brooms Barn, near Bury St Edmunds, since June 5.

A Met Office spokesman said: "It's the driest first half of the summer since 1961.

"For the UK as a whole, we've only seen about 20% of the rainfall we'd normally expect throughout the whole summer. Parts of southern England have seen only 6%."

UK temperatures have been approximately 10C higher than average for this time of year.

The Met Office has partnered with Boots Opticians to raise awareness of the dangers of UV rays on eyes and the need for eye protection, particularly among children.

Their survey found that 31% of people believe eyeballs cannot get sunburnt, with 78% unconcerned about its effect on their eyes.

Just half of people were aware that eye damage caused by UV rays can be irreversible, while 43% said they have sunglasses that offer UV protection.

Children's eyes do not fully develop and provide natural lens protection until the age of 12 and they are likely to spend much more time outside during school holidays than their parents.

Despite this, only 30% of parents said they worry about their children having too much exposure to UV and how it could lead to long term damage.

Only a third (32%) said they prioritise packing sunglasses for a day out with their children, with a further third having no idea if their children's sunglasses offer UV protection.