NHS COVENTRY AND WARWICKSHIRE WARNS PEOPLE OF HEAT EXHAUSTION DURING HOT SEPTEMBER WEATHER
5 September 2023
The UK Health Security Agency and Met Office have issued a Heat-health Amber Alert for the West Midlands until 9pm Sunday 10th September.
Despite us entering early Autumn, temperatures are set to stay hot until the end of the week, so people are being urged to look after themselves by taking steps towards staying cool and to check in on vulnerable friends and family.
Although many people enjoy spending time in the sun, we’d like to remind our residents to enjoy the sun responsibly and look out for vulnerable people.
Angela Brady, Chief Medical Officer from Coventry and Warwickshire Integrated Care Board, said “During the hot weather vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, feel the effects more than others and are more susceptible to heat exhaustion and heatstroke.”
“People should look out for symptoms such as tiredness, dizziness, headache, feeling sick or being sick, cramps in the arms, legs and stomach and fast breathing or heartbeat.”
“Heatstroke can be very dangerous and take hold quickly, so it’s vital people look after themselves and check in on elderly or vulnerable family, friends or neighbours to avoid becoming unwell.”
The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. These include:
- Older people, especially older women and those over 75.
- Babies and young children.
- People on certain medication such as anti-depressants.
- People with a serious chronic condition, particularly breathing or heart problems
- People who are physically active, like manual workers.
Follow the usual steps to cope with the warm weather such as aiming to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, applying sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, stay hydrated and avoid drinking excessive alcohol, and never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
- feeling sick or being sick
- excessive sweating and skin becoming pale and clammy or getting a heat rash, but a change in skin colour can be harder to see on brown and black skin
- cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- fast breathing or heartbeat
- a high temperature
- being very thirsty
If you or someone else have symptoms of heat exhaustion that you're struggling to treat or you need advice you can call 111 or get help from 111 online.
You can find out more details on what to do if you or someone else is suffering from heat exhaustion here.
If you or someone else with heat exhaustion does not cool down within 30 minutes, it turns into heatstroke and needs to be treated as an emergency.