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Health bosses issue heatwave health warnings

The Met Office have predicted a 60% chance of a heatwave until Friday Credit: ITV News Meridian

The NHS in the south east is issuing guidance on protecting yourself from this week's high temperatures.

The move comes after the Met Office predicted a 60% chance of a heatwave until Friday. Forecasters say temperatures could reach as high as 30C.

Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex is warning people to take extra care during prolonged periods of hot weather and have offered the following tips.

You can reduce your risk of sunburn by following the advice below:

  • Avoid exposure to sunlight when the sun is strongest 11am-3pm – stay in the shade as much as possible, cover up with loose clothing and a hat, and use sunscreen.
  • Apply a generous amount of sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going out in the sun, choose one that has a high sun protection factor (SPF) – sunscreen with an SPF of 50 offers the best level of protection.
  • Babies less than six months old should be kept out of direct sunlight
  • The symptoms of heatstroke can develop over several days in vulnerable people, such as the elderly and those with long-term health problems. Symptoms can develop more quickly when associated with physical activity; this type of heatstroke usually affects young, active people.

Symptoms of heatstroke include:

  • high temperature – a temperature of 40°C (104°F) or above is one of the main signs of heatstroke (although it can be diagnosed at lower temperatures)
  • heavy sweating that suddenly stops – if the body can't produce any more sweat, the skin will become dry which is a major warning sign that the body has become over-heated and dehydrated
  • a rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing
  • muscle cramps.
  • Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Dial 999 immediately to request an ambulance if you think that you or someone you know has heatstroke.

Tips for coping in hot weather:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar

People warned to 'take care' in hot weather

Credit: ITV News Meridian

A heatwave alert is in place across the South today, with temperatures expected to reach 30 degrees celsius in some places.

Public Health England has issued the hot weather warning and is advising older people and those with health conditions to take extra precautions.

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