Excessively Hot Weather: What You Need To Know
From time to time Sefton, given its coastal location, can become subject to excessively hot temperatures.
This weather will often lead to Met Office Yellow, Amber and even Red alerts, meaning there will be a need for communities to take action to look after themselves and others.
While hot weather is something we all welcome, excessive heat and high temperatures can cause harm to health and wellbeing, as well as have an impact on Sefton's ecology.
The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. As our climate changes, hot spells are expected to be more frequent and more intense.
What can happen?
If weather conditions become really bad our health can become severely impacted and in some cases can cause death.
In one hot spell in August 2003 in England and Wales there were over 2,000 extra deaths than would normally be expected.
Who is at risk from excessive heat?
The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. As our climate changes, hot spells are expected to be more frequent and more intense
- Older people, especially those over 75
- babies and young children
- people with a serious chronic condition, particularly dementia, heart, breathing or mobility problems
- people with serious mental health problems
- people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control (for example, diuretics, antihistamines, beta-blockers and antipsychotics
- people who are already ill and dehydrated (for example, from gastroenteritis)
- people who misuse alcohol or drugs
- people who are physically active (for example, soldiers, athletes, hikers and manual workers)
- homeless people
With any serious weather alerts, Sefton Council and its partners will work together to keep our communities up to date with the latest information, advice and guidance in order to keep you safe.
We will use our social media pages on Twitter and Facebook to post regular updates and share messages from partners, as well as regularly updating this web page.
How can I avoid getting poorly?
Stay out of the heat, cool yourself down, keep your environment cool or find somewhere else that is cool.
Look out for neighbours, family or friends who may be isolated and unable to care for themselves; make sure they are able to keep cool during a heatwave.
Get medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications.
Make sure medicines are stored below 25°C or in the fridge (read the storage instructions on the packaging).
Carry on taking all prescribed medicines unless advised not to by a medical professional. But be aware that some prescription medicines can reduce your tolerance of heat.
Be alert and if someone is unwell or needs further help, see the resources section at the end of this leaflet.
Signs of heat related illness
Chronic illnesses can get worse in hot weather.
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are two potentially serious conditions that can occur if you get too hot:
Heat Exhaustion is where you become very hot and start to lose water or salt from your body. Common symptoms include weakness, feeling faint, headache, muscle cramps, feeling sick, heavy sweating and intense thirst.
Heatstroke is where the body is no longer able to cool itself and a person’s body temperature becomes dangerously high. Heatstroke is less common, but more serious. Untreated symptoms include confusion, seizures and loss of consciousness
You can find out more, such as common signs and symptoms to look out for on NHS Choices