‘Look out for your vulnerable friends and neighbours’, is the message being shared with residents as hot weather hits the county.
The Met Office’s three-month contingency planner is predicting above-average temperatures until the start of September and a Level Two heat-health alert (indicating that residents need to be alert and ready) has been declared this Sunday to last until Tuesday.
There is a 70 percent probability of heatwave conditions and at the same time there is also an unusual level of high UV across the whole country which will cause people to burn considerably quicker than usual.
People are being encouraged to keep an eye out for anyone who might need help maintaining their health and wellbeing or struggle to cope in the hot weather.
High temperatures - especially those early on in the summer catching people out - can be dangerous, particularly for the very young, elderly, or those with serious health conditions. Very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.
Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Stronger, Safer Communities, said: “To most of us, the summer weather means barbeques and beaches but there are others who we need to help and protect during heatwaves. The health effects of intense heat can come on very quickly so think about your neighbours, friends and family – help them to keep cool.
“A well-known tip is to drink lots of cold drinks but other useful advice is taking a cool shower, sprinkling water over the skin or clothing, or keeping a damp cloth on the back of your neck. Stay safe and enjoy the summer.”
Advice for hot weather:
• Keep out of the sun between 11.00am and 3.00pm
• If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
• Avoid extreme physical exertion
• Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
• Keep your living space cool
• 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
• Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
Anyone worried about their health during hot weather or a heatwave, especially if taking medication, feeling unwell or having any unusual symptoms such as cramp in arms, legs or stomach, weaknesses or problems sleeping should contact their doctor, speak to a pharmacist, or call NHS 111 or visit the website at www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk. Alternatively get a neighbour or friend to help you get help.
For more information about hot weather and health please visit http://www.westsussex.gov.uk/living/emergency_services/preparing_and_dealing_with/severe_weather/heatwave.aspx.