Enjoy the warmth and sunshine but stay safe

Many of us are making the most of the current warm and sunny weather but with temperatures forecast to soar to unprecedented highs this weekend, Buckinghamshire Council’s public health team is reminding residents to take note of the simple but sensible precautions for how to keep safe and well.

The Met Office has issued an Amber warning for extreme heat for Sunday and Monday, meaning there could be a significant risk to the health of vulnerable people but also an impact on normal routines for everyone. Here are a few tips to ensure we all stay safe:

  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and caffeine. Take water with you if you travel.
  • Check in on people you know that could be affected – older people, those with underlying health conditions or those who live alone who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated
  • Try to keep indoor spaces cool by closing curtains and windows in rooms that face the sun
  • Try to keep out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, generally between 11am and 3pm. If you can’t avoid physical exertion such as gardening, DIY or exercise, try to do them in cooler parts of the day
  • Ensure that babies, children, older people and pets are not left alone in parked cars for any period of time to avoid overheating
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen, wear a hat and loose light fitting clothes and bring a drink with you
  • While going for a swim might be tempting in the heat, only swim in safe locations where permitted and be aware of currents, deep water and unseen underwater obstructions
  • Turn off non-essential electrical items and lights which can generate extra heat

Look out for signs of heat exhaustion and take action if you or someone else starts to feel unwell:

  • If you feel dizzy, weak, have a headache or feel very thirsty, move to a cool place as soon as possible and drink water or diluted fruit just to rehydrate
  • If you have painful muscular spasms, particularly in the legs, arms or stomach, rest immediately in a cool place and drink electrolyte drinks. Most people should start to recover within 30 minutes. If not, seek medical help. Call 111.
  • Call 999 if a person develops any signs of heatstroke such as fast breathing or a shortness of breath, feeling confused, a seizure or loss of consciousness, as this is a medical emergency

Buckinghamshire Council is offering support to anyone sleeping on the street in the hot weather. In addition to the regular support available, anyone who wants to escape the heat of the day can go to our CAP+ centres in Aylesbury (Walton St Offices), Amersham (King George V House) and High Wycombe (Queen Victoria Road) where they can rest and get a cool drink of water.

Zahir Mohammed, Deputy Cabinet Member for Public Health said: “We are not trying to alarm people by giving these warnings, it is just about taking sensible precautions to stay safe in what is quite an unusual and prolonged period of hot weather. People should definitely enjoy the sunshine if they wish but just be aware, we are not used to such high temperatures and the effects they can have on even the healthiest of people so just remember to take the advised precautions to keep you and your loved ones safe.”

For more information on how to cope in the heat visit the NHS website.