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Health fears amid Met Office heatwave warning as temperatures set to soar in Kent

People across Kent are today being urged to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day with temperatures in Kent set to soar over the next two days.

A heatwave warning has been issued for the county as forecasters say it will reach 28C today and could make 32C tomorrow.

Officials have enforced a level two health alert - meaning older people, young children, and those with serious illnesses could be affected.

It's expected to get sunny after the weekend
It's expected to get sunny after the weekend

Temperatures are predicted to be warmer in Kent today than in Hawaii and the Bahamas as the county sizzles.

Yesterday, Manston was the sunniest place in Britain - with 12.8 hours of sunshine.

The Met Office severe weather warning is triggered when forecasters predict a 60% chance of temperatures being high enough over at least two consecutive days and the intervening night to have a significant effect on health.

It warns there is a strong possibility of full heatwave conditions between Friday and Sunday mornings.

Dr Paul Cosford, director for health protection at Public Health England, said: "High temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

"Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks.

"Older people and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it's important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible."

Health experts have warned people to take precautions in extreme heat
Health experts have warned people to take precautions in extreme heat

St John Ambulance has echoed the warnings to vulnerable people to take extra precautions.

Chris Cook, regional training and community projects manager for the South East, said: "Extreme heat can be dangerous, particularly for the very young and old.

"But by being prepared you can spot the early warning signs and potentially be the difference between life and death in an emergency.

"Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are the most serious problems that can develop when the mercury soars so it’s essential that people can spot the signs, such as headache and dizziness, and get them somewhere cool and rehydrated as soon as possible."

Sunseekers are set to flock to Kent's beaches
Sunseekers are set to flock to Kent's beaches

When the temperature rises, the most common conditions St John Ambulance first aiders treat people for are cramp, fainting, sunburn and dehydration.

The charity's advice is to apply sun cream, cover up and stay hydrated.

Advice from Public Health England includes:

  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection
  • wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes
  • wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf
  • drink lots of cool drinks
  • look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
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