VULNERABLE people have been warned to keep themselves safe during the scorching summer heatwave hitting the UK this week.
Public Health England has issued the warning telling those with health conditions, coronavirus "shielders", elderly people and very young children to be careful in the heat.
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Public health consultant Emer O'Connell said vulnerable people should be checked up on regularly.
"You will need to do things differently this year, for example keeping in touch by phone. If you need to provide direct care to someone at risk from hot weather, follow government guidance on how to do this safely," she said.
"The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and know how to keep their homes cool."
Health minister Jo Churchill said those spending time in the sun should use sunscreen and drink water.
"Look out for those who are vulnerable in the heat, and provide support where needed, continuing to follow social distancing guidance," she said.
Top tips for staying safe during this week's heatwave
These are Public Health England's tips for vulnerable people to stay safe during the heatwave.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol, everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and older people are particularly vulnerable.
- Stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping.
- Slow down when it is hot: exertion heats up our bodies so plan any strenuous activities (e.g. exercise, gardening) outside the hottest time of the day, typically 11am – 3pm.
- Cool your skin with water, you could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet.
- Stay connected and listen to the weather forecast, knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes.
- Eat smaller meals, more often. Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods.
Temperatures are tipped to rocket towards 36C tomorrow as the country continues to bask in a summer heatwave.
Thursday could set a new record above the hottest June day ever when temperatures hit 35.6C in 1976.
It would also beat last year's hottest June day when highs of around 34C were recorded at Heathrow, West London, on June 29.
The hottest day of the year so far was 28.9C in May, but today's temperatures are due to soar past that and hit 32C before climbing even higher on Thursday.
Met Office forecaster Luke Miall said: "Thursday will probably be the hottest day in the region of 33 or 34 degrees".
Across the UK, sunseekers have flocked to beaches and parks to soak up the summer rays this week.
Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said that UV levels will be "exceptionally high" this week.
"They will reach eight across many places and will be reaching nine across parts of Devon and Cornwall tomorrow," he said.
"That's about as high as it gets really in the UK. The sun is as strong as it gets at the moment because we're so close to the solstice.
"We've got peak sun strength, clear skies, plenty of sunshine – they're the perfect ingredients for high UV."
Mr Burkill advised anyone spending time outside on Wednesday and Thursday to protect themselves.
Brits have also been warned not to leave bottles of hand sanitiser in hot cars as they could catch fire.
NHS staff have been told to remove all bottles of alcohol-based hand sanitiser used in the fight against coronavirus from their cars after fires broke out.
The warm weather can cause the alcohol in the hand sanitiser to evaporate, with flammable vapours being released.
The vapour can then ignite and cause dangerous fires inside cars.
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