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Heatwave forecast triggers Met Office level two heat-health alert for vulnerable residents in Kent

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The Met Office has issued a level two heat-health alert for Kent between Friday, June 17 and Sunday, June 19.

With temperatures set to reach the low 30s this week, public health experts have warned of potential health risks for vulnerable people.

Friday could potentially be the hottest day of the year so far, with early predictions of 32C in some places across Kent.

If that prediction is accurate, it would make Britain hotter than Portugal, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Canary Islands and Cyprus.

Most heat-related deaths occur in the first two days of a heatwave, so health bosses say action should be taken to reduce the risk of harm to vulnerable residents ahead of the soaring temperatures.

KCC director for public health, Anjan Ghosh, said: “We’ve been looking forward to nice weather and it’s quite right that people want to go out and enjoy it but it’s worth remembering that sunny spells and high temperatures can pose serious health risks for some.

"It’s important to protect yourself from too much sun or heat, to carry water when travelling, and it’s equally vital that you look after young children or older people, who may feel the heat more acutely than others.”

Advice has been issued for those at risk in the hot weather
Advice has been issued for those at risk in the hot weather

People are being urged not to go to A&E or call 999 unless it is an emergency. However, experts say that should you or someone you know become unwell, use 111 as the first point of contact.

Dr Navin Kumta, clinical chair of NHS Kent and Medway CCG said: “By taking simple precautions, such as staying hydrated and finding shade during the hottest parts of the day, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming ill and needing the services of the NHS.

Key advice has been issued to ensure the safety of those at risk:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
  • 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.
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as water, food and any medications you need.
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