Hot weather warning issued to people shielding and more vulnerable groups

People shielding indoors from COVID-19, older people, those with underlying health conditions and very young children are all more vulnerable from the higher temperatures.

Emer O’Connell, Consultant in Public Health at Public Health England, said:

Most of us look forward to the warmer weather, but some people may find it more difficult to cope with these higher temperatures. Older people, those with underlying health conditions and very young children are more at risk in hot weather.

This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19, especially those shielding, as they are at high risk of developing severe infection. A lot of homes can overheat, so it’s important we continue to check up on older people and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they’re living alone and may be socially isolated.

You will need to do things differently this year, for example, keeping in touch by phone. If you need to provide direct care to someone at risk from hot weather, follow government guidance on how to do this safely. The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and know how to keep their homes cool.

Jo Churchill, Health Minister, said:

With plenty of sunshine and soaring temperatures expected over the coming days, many of us across the UK will be outside making the most of the fantastic weather while following the social distancing rules.

It’s important, however, to make sure you stay safe in the sun: apply sunscreen regularly, stay hydrated and protect your head from the sun. Look out for those who are vulnerable in the heat and provide support where needed, continuing to follow social distancing guidance.

To enjoy the sun while staying safe:

  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and older people are particularly vulnerable
  • stay cool indoors: open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping
  • slow down when it’s hot: exertion heats up our bodies so plan any strenuous activities (such as exercise and gardening) outside the hottest time of the day, typically 11am to 3pm
  • cool your skin with water. You could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet
  • stay connected and listen to the weather forecast. Knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing
  • dress appropriately for the weather. Protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes
  • eat smaller meals, more often. Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods

For more information on the common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion and heatstroke, visit NHS.UK.

Read our COVID-19 and summer temperatures blog for more advice on how to stay well in hot weather.

NHS South Sefton CCG & NHS Southport and Formby CCG: Will you be part of Europe’s biggest healthcare survey?

More than two million people are being given an opportunity to tell the NHS about their experiences of using services at their GP practice. The GP Patient Survey invites a sample of people aged 16 and over from over 7,000 practices across England to take part.

Leading Sefton health figures say ‘no’ to sugary drinks as part of GULP campaign!

Sefton Council is working with Food Active to promote the new GULP (Give Up Loving Pop) Early Years campaign called ‘Kind to Teeth’.

The campaign aims to improve knowledge and raise awareness of the health risks associated with consumption of sugary drinks in under-fives.

Developed by registered nutritionists, the campaign has been launched as part of National Smile Month and is the UK’s largest and longest running campaign to promote good oral health.

Research shows that by the age of five, nearly a third of children had obvious decay in their milk teeth.  In another study, 12% of three-year-olds were found to have evidence of tooth decay having on average three decayed, missing or filled teeth – and sugary drinks are a major part of the problem.

This is despite the fact that babies are only recommended to consume breast milk (or formula milk if necessary) until six months and then milk and water are the best sources of hydration for babies and young children.

Sugar is not necessary for the diet, especially for children and when consumed in the form of sugary drinks, can cause a whole host of health issues, from tooth decay to obesity and type 2 diabetes. Lots of sugar can often be hiding in many baby juices and other sugary drinks marketed at the early years.

The Kind to Teeth campaign has been developed by registered nutritionists, dental health and early year’s specialists and forms part of the well-known GULP campaign.  It is aimed at parents of children under five years of age, to help promote healthier drinking habits in the early years and will involve a number of electronic resources for local authorities to utilise.

Cllr Ian Moncur, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “Improving the health of Sefton’s young children is a key priority for us, so I am very pleased that the Kind to Teeth campaign is being promoted in Sefton.

“Nearly a quarter of our 5-year-olds start school with dental decay and a quarter in Reception year are overweight or are an unhealthy weight by the time they start school. Tackling unhealthy drink habits in the early years is a crucial preventative measure to protect our young children against poor dental health and weight gain”

Matthew Ashton, Director of Public Health for Sefton and Knowsley, added: “When children are young, we have a fantastic opportunity to influence healthy food and drink patterns, as habits are often established when children are young.

“This campaign will help to educate parents on the health risks associated with consuming sugary drinks in the early years, and emphasise that water is the best source of hydration for their young one. We hope it will help to influence healthy drinking patterns from the early years and throughout their growth and development into adulthood.”