The UK Health Security Agency has raised the health warning from level three to level four.
This “national emergency” follows the rare red alert issued by the Met Office on Friday (July 15) where temperatures may exceed the existing record of 38.7C on Monday July 18 and Tuesday July 19.
Signifying a risk to life, people are warned to stay home if possible, and this warning applies to those who are fit and healthy, not just those in a high-risk category.
Annie Shuttleworth is a press officer and meteorologist at the Met Office.
She said: “Temperatures across the south of England are expected to be widely in the mid-30s on Monday and Tuesday, with some spots in the easternmost areas of southern England reaching into the high 30s.”
While Salisbury is likely to avoid highs of 40°C, as the heat rises it can lead to many health problems and affect sleeping patterns.
The temperature is forecast to be around 35°C during the day on Monday, July 18, and will remain high at 31°C by 9pm, so it is important to plan how to stay cool.
For those who struggle with heat, it can be helpful to place a thin, damp cloth or towel over a fan to blow cool air into the room.
Take a cool shower or bath to help maintain body temperature. Hydration is vital. It is important to drink before you feel thirsty as fluid replacement is delayed at this point.
Keep rooms cool by lowering the blinds.
Heat stroke is dangerous and occurs when the body temperature rises rapidly and cannot be cooled down by sweating. It is a serious, life-threatening condition that can lead to multi-organ dysfunction.
Rapid cooling with an ice bath will help.
The heat wave can be difficult for anyone, except for those over 75 or those who live alone, who will be vulnerable. This is the same for those with health problems such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart or lung disease.
People with some mental health conditions may also be at risk.
Supervise infants and young children and keep them from getting too much sun, as it can be difficult to keep their body temperature constant.
For those who have to work outdoors, it’s important to seek shade when possible to stay hydrated and protect your skin.
Pets also struggle with heat, so avoid taking dogs for walks in very hot weather, as their paws can get severely burned by hot surfaces. Never leave animals in hot cars and make sure they always have enough water, but even more so in extreme temperatures.
As of Wednesday, July 20, the temperature drops to the mid-twenties, but humidity is forecast to be 55 percent, but should become more bearable.
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