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heatwavelevel3The Met Office have upgraded their heatwave warning from ‘alert and readiness’ to a level 3 ‘heatwave action’ this morning (Wednesday) as temperatures continue to soar on what has become the hottest day of the year so far.

Islanders are being warned to stay out of the sun, to keep homes as cool as possible and to keep drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day as temperatures reach 2015 highs, with 33.5c seen at Heathrow Airport this morning.

A Level 3 heat health warning is triggered when the Met Office confirms threshold temperatures have been reached for one day and the following night, and the forecast for the next day has a greater than 90% confidence level that the day threshold temperature will be met.

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The humid conditions saw electrical storms pass over the Isle of Wight yesterday evening, with further unsettled stormy conditions expected later today and throughout the week.

During hot spells vulnerable groups, such as the older people, 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.

Top advice for being sun safe:

• Try to keep out of the sun between 11:00 and 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.

• Drink lots of cool drinks

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• 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 service users have access to cold water and ice.

A spokesman for Isle of Wight NHS Trust 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.  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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