Whilst most of us enjoy sunny weather, the extreme heat of a heatwave can be seriously damaging to your health, and can sometimes be fatal.
Whilst extreme heat is dangerous to everyone it is especially so for vulnerable groups including:
- babies and young children
- the elderly
- those living in care homes
- at-risk groups, such as those with existing breathing or heart problems
When temperatures remain abnormally high over more than a couple of days, excessive heat can prove fatal. In one hot spell during the South East in August 2003, death among people aged over 75 rose by 60 per cent. In England, since 2003, there have been heatwave periods in 2006, 2009 and 2013.
Symptoms of heatstroke and heat exhaustion can appear rapidly and it is important, especially for vulnerable groups to take extra precautions during such extreme weather.
The NHS has produced guidance documents on how to look after yourselves and others during extreme temperatures. These documents also provide guidance for those working in health or social care work, or those who look after vulnerable people.
If you require immediate medical advice, please contact NHS on 111 or, in an emergency only, call 999.
Heatwave advice for businesses
To help businesses look after their employees during hot weather, Kent County Council, in partnership with Low Carbon Kent, have produced a helpful factsheet on heatwaves.