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Advice on staying safe in the heat

Health and safety

09 August 2022

photo of a bright sunny sky

Northamptonshire's Public Health Directors Sally Burns and John Ashton are offering advice to help people stay safe in the heat:

Yet again we’re experiencing hot weather in Northamptonshire, in common with much of the country. You may already have noticed the temperature creeping up, which is great news for those of us who love being outdoors and enjoying the warmer weather. This is likely to continue until the weekend so a Heat-Health alert has been put into place as even overnight temperatures are predicted to be very warm.

Normally in hot weather temperatures tend to drop overnight giving the body sufficient chance to rest and repair, however this normal process can become a struggle when temperatures don’t drop. It can be unpleasant for any of us, but is a particular issue for those whose underlying health conditions are made worse by heat.  

There is no denying that high temperatures overnight and in the daytime unfortunately come with health consequences for some people. So we’re asking you please keep an eye on those most vulnerable, particularly those who are older or have lung or heart conditions, as well as children. And to take care of yourself too!

Top tips for staying safe in the heat

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated
  • Stay hydrated, take water with you if you are out and about
  • Avoid travelling at peak times if you can, particularly if transporting children, babies, or the elderly. If you have to travel ensure you have enough water with you to allow for any delays due to accidents or breakdowns
  • Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm as this is when UV rays are the strongest - avoid physical exertion at this time
  • If you have to go out in the heat stay in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide brimmed hat
  • Close curtains in rooms that the sun faces - this will help rooms remain cooler - remember it could be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Never leave anyone in a parked closed vehicle – especially not animals, children or babies
  • Avoid alcohol as it will further dehydrate you, this is because it causes you to both urinate and perspire more than normal
  • Look out for signs of heat exhaustion and heatstroke and follow some common sense behaviours to make the most of what should be a glorious time for most.  

Water safety
Sadly accidents, often fatal, happen in water at this time of year particularly involving youngsters. That’s why we’re asking parents to supervise their children in and around water. Although it can be fun to cool off in water structures such as bridges, locks and flood channels, and reservoirs and quarries should be avoided.

Make sure you know the RNLI’s Float to Live advice

Unexpectedly cold water or strong currents can catch even experienced swimmers off guard. Better to swim safely at one of the county’s organised events where support is provided