Heatwave alert issued for region
PUBLISHED: 13:25 18 July 2013 | UPDATED: 13:25 18 July 2013
Residents are being warned to take care in soaring temperatures after the Met Office issued a level three heatwave alert for the South West of England during the next few days.
A Level three alert means people should be aware of the actions to protect themselves from the possible health effects of hot weather, and social and healthcare services are advised to take specific actions that target high-risk groups.
Level three alerts are triggered as soon as the Met Office confirms that threshold temperatures for one or more region have been reached for one day and one night and the forecast for the next day has a greater than 90 per cent chance of reaching the threshold again.
The threshold for South West is an average of 30C in the day and 15C at night.
This stage requires social and healthcare services to target specific actions at high-risk groups.
Following this Met Office alert, Doctors from Public Health England in the South West are advising people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.
Advice includes trying to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, wearing sunscreen, loose cotton clothing, sunglasses and a hat, seeking shade, and drinking lots of cools drinks.
People should look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses, and never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
It can get uncomfortably hot indoors too, and residents should try to keep bedrooms and living spaces cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when possible.
Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.
Health and social care workers in the community, hospitals and care homes are advised to regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 degrees, ensure patients have access to cold water and ice and that medicines are stored in a cool place.