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Heat health warning: 2017

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

Sunny sky

Latest update

News today (19 June 2017) from the Met Office that the hot weather will now continue until Thursday, has prompted PHE to repeat its advice on how to beat the heat.

For the majority of people it is about common sense - staying cool, drinking plenty of water to maintain hydration, and avoiding sunburn. However, some groups can be particularly vulnerable and at much greater risk of harm, especially those with underlying heart and lung conditions, older people, babies and young children.

Looking out for people in these groups is important while most of England swelters under high temperatures.

Temperatures today were expected to top 30oC in many places – which is above the point at which hot weather can impact the public’s health.

Dr Angie Bone, Head of PHE’s Extreme Events team, said:

Spells of hot weather like this are enjoyed by many of us, but they can make a very real impact on some people’s health.

That’s why it’s so important we all keep an eye on those likely to be most at risk, people with underlying heart and lung conditions, older people and those with younger children. Some people in these groups may not be able to take steps to keep themselves cooler – so if you’re able, ask your friends, family and neighbours if they need any support.

The rest of us also need to take care when out and about in the sun and keep cool where we can, if travelling keep plenty of water with you and check weather forecasts.

There are lots of useful tips and guidance on NHS Choices website and more detail available in the Heatwave Plan for England. Up to date forecasts are available at www.metoffice.gov.uk.

Unusual levels of UV are also being recorded in the UK at the moment – with the strength of the UV in some spots being as high as that in Cyprus and Gibraltar. This has prompted warnings that people should take extra care in the sun at the moment and should keep an eye on PHE’s UV monitors.

The Met Office’s Chief Meteorologist Dan Suri said:

High pressure is dominating our weather bringing warm, humid air from the tropical Atlantic resulting in these high temperatures and sunny conditions over the coming days. These hot and sometimes humid conditions will continue well into the middle of the week when conditions will start to turn more unsettled in some areas before fresher conditions finally start to move across the country from the north and west later this week.

Previous updates

16 June 2017

With hot weather on the horizon for all of England this weekend, some people will be heading outside and enjoying the sunshine. PHE is suggesting that people should also plan ahead and think about the best ways to beat the heat.

The Met Office said today that there is a high chance that all parts except the north west will experience temperatures of about 28oC during the day and around 15oC at night from tomorrow (Saturday 17 June 2017).

Experts at PHE say that this is the point where hot weather can impact public health.

Dr Thomas Waite from PHE said:

Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for most people there’s nothing to really worry about. But before the hot weather arrives, it is a really good time to think about what you can do to protect you and your family and friends.

For some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with 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.

There are lots of useful tips and guidance on NHS Choices website and more detail available in the Heatwave Plan for England. Up to date forecasts are available at www.metoffice.gov.uk.

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

  • 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
  • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • 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

Unusual levels of UV are also being recorded in the UK at the moment – with the strength of the UV in some spots being as high as that in Cyprus and Gibraltar. This has prompted warnings that people should take extra care in the sun at the moment and should keep an eye on PHE’s UV monitors.

Met Office Chief Meteorologist Frank Saunders said

With high pressure building from the south west and warm air being drawn up from the Azores, much of England will see very warm or hot weather this weekend and into early next week. Daytime temperatures will widely be in the mid to high twenties with some central and southern parts reaching the low thirties. It will also feel warm and humid overnight.

Published 16 June 2017
Last updated 19 June 2017 + full page history
  1. Updated with latest heatwave warnings.
  2. First published.