Newham residents urged to stay cool during forecasted extreme temperatures

29 June 2015 in Community safety and Health
Newham residents are being urged to stay cool, hydrated and keep an eye on vulnerable neighbours during the predicted extreme hot weather this week.
The Met Office has issued a level 2 alert for London and much of England for the beginning of the week with an 80 per cent chance of heatwave conditions between tomorrow (Tuesday 30 June) lunchtime and Thursday (2 July) morning.

Level 2 alerts are triggered as soon as the Met Office forecasts that there is a 60 per cent chance of temperatures being high enough on at least two consecutive days to have a significant effect on health.

Very hot weather can cause health problems especially for babies, young children and those aged 75 and over. Newham Council has issued advice for how people can avoid suffering any lasting ill-affects of the heat.

Among the key steps people can take to stay safe in the hot weather are:
  • keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm – if you have to go out in the heat, stay in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
  • wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothing
  • avoid extreme physical exertion
  • have plenty of cold drinks and avoid having excess alcohol
  • eat cold foods - particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially children or animals
  • keep homes cool by closing curtains in rooms that receive morning or afternoon sun – however be careful with metal blinds and dark curtains as these can absorb heat 
  • turn off non essential lights and electrical equipment.
People are also being urged to keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool, if necessary call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or needs further help.

Those observing Ramadan are being encouraged to rehydrate after Iftar (meal to break the fast) and before Suhoor (pre-dawn meal). Drinking water is recommended during this period and it is especially important people reduce their intake of all types of caffeinated drinks.

It is also important people keep themselves well hydrated during the voluntary night time tareewah prayers late at night.

Councillor Clive Furness, mayoral advisor for adults and health, said: “While some of us may be looking forward to the hot weather for others it can be an extremely dangerous time. It is vital that we all take the simple steps and precautions to ensure that we all stay safe and well.

“Among the affects of too much exposure to the sun and heat are sunburn, heat exhaustion and heat stroke - which can have lasting impacts on vital organs, such as the liver, kidneys, and brain.

“I would also urge people to look out for older or vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours to make sure they are keeping cool. Being a good neighbour in hot weather can make all the difference.

“Everyone needs to take precautions from the effects of the sun in summer, and if anyone has any health concerns at all they should speak to their GP.”