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Emergency services issue a plea to stay safe in the heat

With temperatures set to soar this weekend, NHS, police, fire and council chiefs are joining forces amid concerns about growing pressure on hospitals and ‘risk to life’.

Meeting to discuss local risks, agencies raised a number of concerns, including the significant pressure on hospitals which will worsen after a blistering weekend.

Mike Sandys, director of public health for Leicestershire and Rutland said: “There’s a growing list of fears ahead of this weekend. I am particularly worried about older and vulnerable people getting dehydrated and very sick. This kind of prolonged heat is a risk to life.”

Caroline Trevithick said: “Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2000 heat related deaths every year. I ask everyone to take this seriously – young and old.”

Ivan Browne, director of public health in the city said: “I’d urge everyone to do one more thing this weekend to stay safe in the heat. Much of this is about common sense, whether it’s taking an extra bottle of water in the car, staying indoors in the middle of the day, or checking in on an elderly neighbour.”

Assistant chief constable, Kerry Smith added: “A serious danger this weekend is drinking alcohol for longer than usual outdoors – whether it’s in a park or your own garden. That could make you very poorly and you may need treatment at a time when the hospitals are simply too busy.”

Chief fire officer, Callum Faint said: “Hot weather can lead to all sorts of risky behaviour. As emergency services we’re seeing more young children getting into trouble around water and more barbeques getting out of control.”

Emergency meetings will take place ahead of the weekend to monitor the risks and take further action if needed. Residents are encouraged to follow the simple advice and visit the NHS website for information:

Tips include:

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children, and babies and those with underlying health conditions

  • drink plenty of water; sugary, alcoholic, and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated

  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors

  • open windows when it feels cooler outside and it’s safe to do so

  • 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, and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat

  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day

  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes


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