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A Heatwave Alert has been issued for the West Midlands with temperatures expected to reach over 30 degrees Celsius during the day and 15 degrees at night.

The heat can be very dangerous especially for certain groups of people such as the elderly, those with existing medical conditions and the very young.  Members of the public are encouraged to take steps to keep themselves and those around them cool.  The key public health warning issued advises the following:

Stay out of the heat

  • keep out of the sun between 11.00am and 3.00pm
  • if you have to go out, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • avoid extreme physical exertion
  • wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Cool yourself down

  • have plenty of cold drinks and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruits with a high water content
  • take a cool shower, bath or body wash
  • sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.

Keep your environment cool

  • keep you living space cool, this is especially important for infants, the elderly, those with chronic health conditions or those who can’t look after themselves
  • place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature
  • close light coloured curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun (do not do this with blinds or dark coloured curtains.)
  • turn off non essential lights and electrical equipment as they generate heat
  • keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
  • if possible move to a cooler room, especially for sleeping
  • electric fans may provide some relief when temperatures are below 35 degrees celsius.

Look out for Others

  • keep an eye on isolated elderly, ill ,very young people and pets and make sure they are able to keep cool
  • ensure that babies, children, elderly people or pets are not left alone in stationery cars
  • check on elderly or sick neighbours, family and friends every day during a heatwave
  • be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed.

If you feel dizzy, week or anxious or have an intense thirst or headache move to a cool place as soon as possible and drink some cold water or fruit juice.  If you have painful muscle spasms drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.  If your muscle spasms last for more than an hour seek medical help.  

REMEMBER – if you feel unwell and your systems persist seek medical help.