Learn how to stay safe during a heatwave and maybe you’ll get a Swagbucks search win!
The Met Office have issued Red Extreme Heat Warnings for Monday and Tuesday in parts of England, with Amber alerts from Sunday to Tuesday in other areas. We are not used to these extremes of temperature in the UK and the humidity only makes it worse.
The NHS have already activated their emergency planning and heatwave protocols. Please check out the NHS and Met Office websites for advice and to plan now so you can stay as safe as possible during the hotter days.
NB: RED links go to Swagbucks. GREY links in grey go to the NHS, GOV.UK, or RSPCA.
Why is a heatwave a problem?
The main risks posed by a heatwave are:
Who is most at risk?
A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:
- older people – especially those over 75
- those who live on their own or in a care home
- people who have a serious or long term illness – including heart or lung conditions, diabetes, kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease or some mental health conditions
- those who may find it hard to keep cool – babies and the very young, the bed bound, those with drug or alcohol addictions or with Alzheimer’s disease
- people who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places – those who live in a top floor flat, those experiencing homelessness, or those whose jobs are outside
Tips for coping in hot weather
- look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions, and those who live alone are particularly at risk
- stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
- close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- if going outdoors use cool spaces considerately
- drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, or animals
- try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly, and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
- make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
- if you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice
For more information visit GOV.UK: Heatwave Plan for England.
You can also get help from the environmental health office at your local authority. They can inspect a home for hazards to health, including excess heat.
Watch out for signs of heat related illness
Keeping pets safe during hot weather
RSPCA vet Dr Michael Lazaris says: “It’s really important to take extra care of our pets during the hot weather as heat exhaustion is a life-threatening condition. Prevention is much better than a cure so try to keep your pets indoors or in a cool, shaded area when the temperatures are hitting 30C and higher.
“If your pet is elderly, overweight, or has ongoing health problems or problems caused by extreme breeding – such as flat-faced dogs – then they can feel the effects of the heat more quickly so please keep that in mind.
Top tips for cool cats and hot dogs:
- Don’t let your pet get sunburnt – use pet-safe sun cream.
- Ensure animals have access to shade and fresh drinking water at all times.
- Check every day for flystrike.
- Keep fish tanks out of direct sunlight and top up water levels of ponds.
- Keep an eye out for wildlife when using lawnmowers or strimmers.
- Buy a cooling mat, wrap an ice pack or frozen water bottle in a tea towel, or use damp towels for your pet to lie on.
- Use cold treats from the fridge or make an ice lolly from pet-friendly ingredients.
- Freeze your dog’s water bowl or kong, or add ice cubes to your pet’s bowl.
- Fill a paddling pool or spray a hose for your dog to play in but always supervise around water.
- Some exotic pets such as snakes and tortoises are good escape artists so check vivariums are secured and take care if allowing reptiles to exercise or bask out in the garden.
RSPCA animal welfare expert Dr Samantha Gaines says: “During the hot weather we’d urge pet owners to think twice before taking their dog out with them as they can really struggle out and about during the heat so often it’s best to leave them at home in the cool. If you’ll be out in the sun all day at a festival or show, or if you’re planning a long walk or run, please leave your furry friend at home with somewhere cool to go. It can be hard enough for us in the heat and it’s much more difficult for them.”
- Dogs and horses need exercise, even when it’s hot. But you should avoid exercising them in excessively hot weather. Our experts advise walking or riding in the morning or evening when it’s cooler.
- When walking dogs keep in mind that pavements can get very hot in the warm weather – if it’s too hot to touch with your hand, then it’s too hot for a dog’s paws.
- Never leave pets in vehicles, caravans, conservatories, or outbuildings in the warm weather. Dogs – and other pets – can overheat and die if left in a hot environment, such as a car or shed.
- Snakes are most active in June and July so don’t be alarmed if you see one in the wild. Most tend to shy away from people.
Information sourced from:
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