Met Office issues heatwave warning

2 July 2018, 15:37 | Updated: 2 July 2018, 15:54

Heatwave

The Met Office has issued a Level 3 Heatwave alert for the South of England.

The warning came into force at 6am on Monday and is expected to end at 9pm on Tuesday evening.

Sustained high temperatures day and night have triggered the Public Health alert after the Met Office confirmed threshold temperatures that can affect health have been reached.

The elderly, babies and young children, the sick and those with breathing or heart conditions are particularly susceptible to the heat.

Health and social care workers in the Oxfordshire community, hospitals and care homes have been advised by the county council to regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 °C, ensure patients have access to cold water and ice and that medicines are stored in a cool place.

Stephen Pinel, of Oxfordshire County Council’s public health team, said: “While hot weather is enjoyable for most people and uncomfortable for some, sadly experience tells us that exposure to excessive heat can kill, with most cases of illness and death caused by heart and lung disease. 

"Because we are not used to these very hot temperatures in England, local plans are in place to reduce the impact of harm from very hot weather."

In August 2003, there were over 2,000 excess deaths during one ten-day heatwave in the UK.

Oxfordshire County Council’s public health team is offering the following advice:

  • Stay out of the heat and direct sunlight as much as possible
  • Drink plenty of cool fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine and hot drinks
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped. Use locks on open windows as children may fall out if they are able to climb on furniture to reach the window, or if they are jumping or playing on a bed near an open window.
  • 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 light scarf. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn.
  • avoid physical exertion
  • drink plenty of cold drinks
  • if you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
  • look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals