27th July 2018
Whilst holidaying abroad in a warmer climate, I would often be asked how I coped with the dull, rainy British weather, which individuals thought was the perpetual seasonal climate.
Times and seasons are changing. This week (from 16 July), London saw temperatures soaring to highs of 35 degrees centigrade, hotter than most Caribbean islands.
The serious side of summer has hit headlines this week as seven countries reported record temperatures resulting in fatalities. A BBC news report this week suggests the heatwave across various regions of the world, are a result of global warming.
Due to the longer than expected season of high temperatures a weather warning is now in place in the UK with the Met Office issuing a level two alert on its heat-health watch. See report here.
Public Health England's Dr Thomas Waite states: "We see a rise in heart attacks and in strokes. And people contacting 111 and their GPs about a number of different types of conditions related to the heat."
He continues, "We know that when weather like this hits, many people will head outdoors and make the most of the sunshine – but for others, temperatures like these, over more than a day or two, can be really uncomfortable and pose a significant risk to health.
"This is because their bodies may struggle to adapt to working harder, as all our bodies do when the weather gets this hot, and they can become ill." See full article.
Public Health England outlines the following safety measures:
- Avoid the sun during the hottest parts of the day (11:00 am to 3:00 pm)
- Carry water with you when travelling and if going out to large events
- Think about how to keep homes cool as this can aid sleeping at night and give the body time to recover from the heat of the day. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
See source here.
It is important to take these tips seriously as they could be life-saving.
Safety alerts are extended to the following groups of individuals who are considered high risk of adverse reaction to higher temperatures:
- Older adults
- Younger children and babies
- Individuals with a health condition such as respiratory ailments (asthma, chronic obstructive airways diseases) and cardiovascular problems (high blood pressure, heart failure)
So as a final reminder:
[Sharon Platt-McDonald, BUC Health Ministries Director]