Helping you to prepare and reduce the effects of extreme weather conditions on your health.
Whilst many of us like to enjoy the sun and hot weather, we should make sure we do it safely and remember certain groups of people are more vulnerable than others to the effects of heat or ultraviolet radiation.
Extreme heat can force the body into overdrive as it tries to stay cool through perspiration and evaporation. Young children and older people are particularly at risk. Over exposure to sun is equally dangerous, with effects ranging from mild sunburn to skin cancer. It doesn't have to be hot for the UV index to be high.
Each year a heat health watch system operates in England run in association with the Department of Health.
The Met Office forecasts day-time and night-time maximum temperatures, which are monitored regionally. When certain heat thresholds are passed, a warning is issued and sent to relevant health professionals and people working in social care as well as displayed on our website. This is so you and health professionals can take action to minimise the impact of the heat on your health. Our Heat-Health Watch runs from 1st June to 15th September.
Heatwaves can be dangerous, especially for the very young, older people or those with a chronic disease. Prolonged exposure to very high temperatures can mean the body is unable to reduce its own temperature, causing dehydration and heatstroke, which can be fatal. In particular, hot temperatures overnight make it difficult for the body to cool.
Do not leave children or animals in parked cars. Even on cool days, strong sunshine can make car interiors very hot.
Last updated: 4 August 2014