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heatwavewarningseptemberHeatwave conditions are expected across the country over the next few days, resulting in advice being issued by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust.

The Met Office forecasts that Southeast England has a 60% chance of the heatwave conditions being reached over the next 3 days. The highest temperatures are expected tomorrow (Tuesday) with hot and humid nights.

According to the Island Echo weather forecast, highs of 23c and 24c can be expected, particularly on Wednesday and Thursday when there will be less cloud cover.

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During hot spells vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, feel the acute effects of heat more than others and it’s long been recognised that death rates rise in the early stages of heatwaves. 

Even if temperatures do not hit extreme levels, Public Health England (PHE) still advises people to keep safe in the sun, seek shade to cool down and keep hydrated with plenty of cool fluids.

Prof Rida Elkheir, Director of Public Health at Isle of Wight Council, said:

“While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

“Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks. The older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible.”

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Top advice for being sun safe:

• Try to keep out of the sun between 11:00-15:00
• Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, wear a hat and light scarf. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn.
• Drink lots of cool drinks
• Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
• Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals

Remember that it can get uncomfortably hot indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when you can. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat.

Health and social care workers should regularly check on vulnerable patients, share sun safety messages, make sure room temperatures are set below 26 degrees and ensure patients have access to cold water and ice.

Local authorities, professionals and community groups can prepare for hot weather by reviewing the Heatwave Plan for England on the PHE website.

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