Greater Manchester is experiencing heatwave conditions which mean you should take action to protect yourself, family, friends and neighbours from the possible health effects.
The Met Office has today advised there is a 90 per cent probability of heatwave conditions between now and Saturday evening – and further hot weather is forecast. The North West region has now been upgraded to Level 3 – Heatwave Action – for the first time in 2013.
Alan Higgins, Oldham’s Director of Public Health, said: “The hot weather looks set to continue and it’s important to remember that high temperatures can be dangerous – especially for people who may be vulnerable, such as older people, pregnant women, young children, and those with serious illnesses. Public Health England has issued some simple advice to help people to keep safe and be aware of the risks. We are encouraging people to take note of these and also to please take a few minutes to check on your family and neighbours to ensure they have everything they need during this hot spell.”
Public Health England’s advice is to:
• Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
• If you have to go out in the heat, wear sunscreen, walk in the shade and wear a hat.
• Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothing.
• Avoid physical exertion.
• Drink lots of cold drinks and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
• Eat cold foods, especially salads and fruit with high water content.
• To cool yourself down, take a cool shower or bath, sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
People at risk:
Look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as:
• Older people, especially older women and those over 75.
• Babies and young children.
• People with serious mental health problems.
• People on certain medication.
• People with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems.
• People who already have a high temperature from an infection.
• People who misuse alcohol or take illicit drugs.
• People with mobility problems.
• People who are physically active, like manual workers and sportsmen and women.
Dr Ian Wilkinson, NHS Oldham Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Clinical Officer, added: “During very hot weather, pregnant women and people with chronic illnesses, including cardiovascular, respiratory, renal conditions, diabetes, may also experience particular discomfort and should stay out of the direct heat wherever possible. It’s also advisable to keep any medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator. The key message for healthy individuals is to follow public health messages on how to enjoy the sun safely by staying cool, drinking lots of cold fluids and checking on those you know are at risk.
“This is the month of Ramadan and many members of the Muslim community are fasting during daylight hours. Dehydration is a common and serious risk during hot weather and it’s important to balance food and drink intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water. If you start to feel unwell, disorientated or confused, or collapse or faint, our advice is to stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. This is especially important for older adults, those with poorly-controlled medical conditions such as low/high blood pressure, diabetes and those who are receiving dialysis treatment. The Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that braking fast in such conditions is allowable under Islamic law. Also, make sure to check on others in the community who may be at greater risk and keep an eye on children to ensure they are having a safe and healthy Ramadan.”