Advice issued ahead of expected heatwave

PUBLISHED: 14:13 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 14:13 17 July 2014

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Public Health England and the Met Office have today announced that the Essex and the East of England may experience heatwave conditions over the next few days.

During heatwave conditions Essex County Council (ECC) and Public Health England are advising people to follow three key principles – stay out of the heat, cool yourself down and keep your environment cool.

Mike Gogarty, Director of Commissioning for Healthy Lifestyles, said: “While many residents enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“All residents should keep in mind the three principles – stay out of the heat, cool yourself down and keep your environment cool. I would also ask that people consider vulnerable people they may care for or know and ensure they check on them regularly.”

Residents can stay out of the heat by:

• Keeping out of the sun between 11am and 3pm

• If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat

• Avoid extreme physical exertion

• Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes

Residents can cool themselves down by:

• Having plenty of cold drinks and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks

• Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content

• Take a cold shower or bath

• Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck

Keeping living spaces cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves. Residents can keep their environments cool by:

• Placing a thermometer in the main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature

• Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped

• Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun

• Turn of non-essential lights and electrical equipment as they generate heat

• Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air

• If possible move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping

• Electric fans may provide some relief

Further information can be found on the ECC website or via NHS Choices

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