Heatwave risk in Central Beds brings dangers to health

Heatwave set to hit
Heatwave set to hit

Residents are being warned by Central Bedfordshire Council that the area may experience ‘heatwave’ conditions over the next few days, according to Met Office forecasts.

Warnings that a heatwave may be imminent are triggered when the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60% chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days and the intervening night to have a significant effect on health.

This will normally happen two or three days before a heatwave is expected to occur. This is a critical stage to ensure readiness and swift action to reduce harm from a potential heatwave. During hot spells vulnerable groups, such as the older people, feel the acute effects of heat more than others and it’s long been recognised that death rates rise in the early stages of heatwaves.

Even if temperatures do not hit extreme levels, Public Health England (PHE) still advises people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.

Top advice for being sun safe:

> Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm

> 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.

> Drink lots of cool drinks

> 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

> Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when you can. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.

For more information go to www.centralbedfordshire.gov.uk/weather where you can download a ‘Heatwave’ advice leaflet.