12 August 2016
With another potential heatwave looming, Islanders are being urged to be mindful of the possible health risks that may accompany the soaring temperatures that are forecast.
Although many will take the opportunity to get outside and enjoy themselves in the sun, the heat can cause significant harm to health for those who are at risk or who fail to take suitable precautions.
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull says “The Jersey Met Office is forecasting some hot temperatures for the early part of next week and so we’d urge Islanders to take precautions. This is especially important for those groups at highest risk, including older people – especially those over 75 – as well as babies, young children and people with a chronic medical condition, especially heart or respiratory problems.”
There are several sensible and quite simple steps that everyone can take to help in keeping cool and coping in hot weather:
- Shut windows, pull down the shades or keep the curtains closed to keep your rooms as cool as possible. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler
- Avoid overheating : stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat
- Don’t get sunburnt – ever – as that increases your risk of developing malignant melanoma (skin cancer) in future years
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
- Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool
- Wear loose, cool clothing
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
- Take steps to ensure protection from the sun through the use of sunscreen and hats – such measures are especially important for babies and young children
- Be aware that extreme levels of heat can develop in cars and other confined spaces, and avoid leaving children in cars, even for very short periods. This advice also applies to pets