Health and Wellbeing

Public Health Devon urges residents to beat the heat and look out for most vulnerable in our communities as temperatures continue to soar

sun glasses

Posted on: 20 July 2021

Residents in Devon are being urged to be safe and look out for each other as temperatures continue to soar this week.

The Met Office has issued a ‘Level 3 Amber Extreme Heat Warning’ for all of the South West, with temperatures expected to peak with highs of 30C on Thursday.

The hot weather could have health consequences for people, especially those who are particularly vulnerable.

Steve Brown, Director of Public Devon, explains:

“Most of us enjoy the sunshine, but when it’s too hot for too long it can be seriously risky to our health.

“There are on average 2,000 heat related deaths every year in England, usually caused by extra strain on the heart and lungs, coupled with fluid and salt loss through sweating, as our bodies work harder to maintain an inner core temperature.

“Thousands more people are treated by the NHS for dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

“The hot weather can affect anyone, and much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense, but for the most vulnerable such as very young children, older people aged over 75 years old, those who live alone or in a care home and people who have a serious or long-term illness, the summer heat can be really quite dangerous.

“That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be vulnerable during the hot weather. Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated and ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.

“It’s vital we all follow the advice on coping with hot weather and adapt what we do, particularly with many people self-isolating at home at the moment and our local NHS services already under pressure.

“At the very least, try to keep out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day between 11.00am and 3.00pm, and if you are outside, stay in the shade, drink plenty of water, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat.”

The NHS website has lots of advice about how to cope in hot weather.

Visit the NHS website to find out more about how to spot the signs of dehydration and reduce the risk.

If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Find out about the signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, and when to get help.

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