A better Medway
Published: Wednesday, 20th July 2022

The heat alert for Medway and Kent has now dropped to level 2 but some issues are still expected as a result of the extreme heat earlier this week and residents are urged to keep following advice.

With temperatures in the mid-to-high 20 degrees Celsius expected for the rest of this week and early-30s possible on Sunday (24 July), the start of the school holidays and families travelling for summer breaks or days out could still cause problems.

Kent Resilience Forum (a partnership of organisations and agencies who work together to ensure a coordinated response to emergencies), is continuing to urge residents to follow key common sense guidance, especially for vulnerable friends, family and neighbours.

The very young, elderly and those suffering from health conditions such as heart and lung disease can be at risk in hot weather and experts are urging residents to check on friends, family and neighbours who might have found the heat of the past few days difficult, especially with warmer temperatures anticipated again on Sunday.

Residents are also urged to plan ahead for travel, with roads expected to be especially busy due to the warm weather and the start of the school holidays.

Key ‘Beat the Heat’ advice is to enjoy the sun safely by keeping cool, staying hydrated and being prepared:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk;
  • stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – and remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors;
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol;
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals;
  • check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly;
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest;
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat;
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day;
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling and plan your route, leaving extra time for stops;
  • take care and make sure to follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down;
  • check medicines can be stored according to the instructions on the packaging.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) will continue to monitor any heat-related illness and work closely with the Met Office, the NHS and other government departments to assess the impacts of the recent extreme heat.

People are urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it’s an emergency. If you are in any doubt, NHS111 can help you get the right treatment. 

Simple measures can reduce your risk of becoming ill

Dame Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse at NHS Kent and Medway said: “However much we might like the sun, we know that it can have detrimental effects on your health, especially for the young, our elderly residents and those who are most vulnerable. By taking simple precautions, such as staying hydrated and finding shade during the hottest parts of the day, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming ill and needing the services of the NHS. Could I also ask you where appropriate to check in on your vulnerable neighbours, families and friends.

“Should you become unwell, unless it’s an emergency, please remember to use 111 as your first point of contact for medical support. By phoning 111 or visiting 111.nhs.uk, you will be directed to the right service for you. You can also visit our dedicated website which lists local services, such as pharmacies and urgent treatment centres.”

More information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke are available on NHS.UK.

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