Temperatures on the Island are expected to peak tomorrow (Thursday 2nd July) at 81°F or 27°C and the Department of Health has moved it’s heat wave alert level from 2 to 3.
Dr Jenifer Smith, Director of Public Health and Chief Medical Officer for the Isle of Wight says: “Although severe heat waves are uncommon in England, the experience across Northwest Europe in 2003, when 27,000 people died as a direct cause of the heatwave that year, is a reminder that heat can be fatal. In case of a heatwave, make sure you look after your own health and that of your family. It is not just children who need special attention; be aware that elderly people are also at risk, and make sure they are being checked on.”
Isle of Wight Council has this week re-iterated the latest advice on the heat wave to all employees working with vulnerable clients across the Island and have made sure that colleagues in the private sector are aware of the latest advice. The Rural Community Council has sent information to voluntary organisations across the Island.
The advice to Islanders is to:
Keep out of the heat
- If a heatwave is forecast, try and plan your day in a way that allows you to stay out of the heat.
- If you can, avoid going out in the hottest part of the day (11am – 3pm).
- If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY, or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day, like early morning or evening.
- If you must go out, stay in the shade. Wear a hat and light, loose fitting clothes, preferably cotton. If you will be outside for some time, take plenty of water with you.
- A loose, cotton, damp cloth or scarf on the back of the neck, or spraying or splashing your face and the back of your neck with cold water several times a day can help keep you cool.
- Stay inside, in the coolest rooms in your home, as much as possible.
- Reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows. External shading, e.g. shutters, is best.
- Metal blinds and dark curtains may absorb heat and make the room warmer – it is best to use pale curtains or reflective material.
- Keep windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside. Open them when the temperature inside rises, and at night for ventilation.
- If you are worried about security, at least open windows on the first floor and above.
- Indoor and outdoor plants will help keep your home cool due to evaporation and the shading from trees and bushes.
- Take cool showers or baths.
- Drink regularly even if you do not feel thirsty – water or fruit juice are best.
- Try to avoid alcohol, tea and coffee. They make dehydration worse.
- Eat as you normally would. Try to eat more cold food, particularly salads and fruit, which contain water.
Seek advice if you have any concerns
- Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS Direct if you are worried about your health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.
- Watch for cramp in your arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping.
- If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. Seek medical advice if they get worse or don’t go away.
For more information visit www.nhs.uk and follow the link from the Home Page or visit their summer health pages at http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Summerhealth/Pages/Summerhealthhome.aspx
Notes for Editors
For further information contact the NHS Isle of Wight communications team on 01983-534184 or 552003. Further information about health services can be found at www.iow.nhs.uk or www.nhs.uk.