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Heat health advice: 2019

Warmer weather forecasts for parts of England have prompted advice to take care from Public Health England (PHE).

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Latest update

As the weather is forecast to be exceptionally hot on 25 July 2019, Public Health England (PHE) has reiterated its advice to vulnerable groups - older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children.

Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at Public Health England said:

The extreme heat means that our bodies, especially our hearts and lungs, have to work harder to maintain a normal temperature. This is why our advice focuses on reminding people to keep an eye on those who are most at risk, older people, those with underlying health conditions and very young children. The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and keep their homes cool.

Frank Saunders, Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office said:

There is a real possibility of records being broken this week, not only for July but also all-time records. The weather setup is broadly similar to the pattern that brought high temperatures to much of continental Europe at the end of June.

As well as high temperatures during the day, overnight temperatures will also be notably warm and could also break records. Conditions will feel much more comfortable for western parts of the UK by the time we get to Friday.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke (NHS)

Previous updates

22 July 2019

Weather forecasts show a very warm week for much of the country with hot days and warm nights. Temperatures are likely to rise on Tuesday 23 July through to Thursday 25 July 2019, which may leave older people, young children and those with long-term conditions, including heart and lung diseases, struggling to adapt to the heat.

Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at Public Health England said:

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy. However, for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer.

If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support. Also take water with you when travelling and keep up to date with weather forecasts.

It’s also worth remembering to think about practical steps to keep homes cool during the day as this can aid sleeping at night and give the body time to recover from the heat.

Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office, Paul Gundersen said:

The UK will experience another pulse of high temperatures this week, with the possibility of records being broken for not only July but also all-time records. The weather setup is broadly similar to the pattern that brought high temperatures to much of continental Europe at the end of June.

As well as high temperatures during the day, overnight temperatures will also be notably warm and could also break records. Conditions will feel much more comfortable for all by the time we get to Friday.

The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:

  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • 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
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
Published 22 July 2019
Last updated 24 July 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added latest update.
  2. First published.