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Heatwave warning issued

The Met Office has raised the heatwave warning alert again today on behalf of the Department of Health.

The highest temperatures today will be to the west of London where 31-32 degrees celsius should be reached. Temperatures of up to 33 degrees celsius are expected in London by tomorrow. These hot conditions will persist until Friday, with lower temperatures moving in by the weekend.

This has triggered heatwave plan alert level three. This means that high temperatures have been reached and sustained in one or more regions, with two consecutive very warm nights, a hot intervening day and a forecast of even higher temperatures for today and tomorrow.

English regions particularly affected by the heatwave and which have reached criteria for level three include London and the South East.

The Department of Health is reminding people to remain aware of the risks faced by elderly friends and relatives during a heatwave.

Yvonne Doyle, Regional Director of Public Health in the South East said:

"Everyone's health can be affected by the heat, with greater risks of dehydration, sunburn, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. Those most at risk are the very young and the very old, and people who already have health conditions, especially heart and respiratory problems – the heat can make their symptoms worse."

Although ozone levels increase in hot weather, they drop in the evening. Windows should be kept shaded and closed when the temperature is hotter outside than inside. People with respiratory problems should stay inside during the hottest part of the day.

People are advised to contact their local environmental health officer if they have concerns for themselves or a vulnerable friend, neighbour or relative. Environmental health practitioners at local authorities can visit to inspect the condition of a home for hazards to health, including excess heat.

Top tips for coping during a heatwave include:

  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.
  • Shut and shade windows when it is hotter outside than inside and open them for ventilation when it is cooler outside.
  • People with serious health problems (for example, heart conditions), should avoid going out in the heat, especially between 11am and 3pm.
  • Drink cold drinks like water or fruit juice regularly and avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast and plan ahead with supplies – think of elderly neighbours who may need help with supplies.
  • Keep plenty of water to hand and stay in the shade where possible.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house to use as a room to cool down or sleep in.

DH Heatwave Plan