The Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales is urging people to take extra precautions and to plan ahead to keep themselves and others safe as the Met Office warns of extreme heat.
The Amber warning, issued for Sunday 17 July, Monday 18 July and Tuesday 19 July, suggests some parts of east Wales could see temperatures reach early to mid-thirties.
The Welsh Government is working with emergency services, local authorities, schools and businesses to keep the public safe during the Met Office warning period.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Wales (DCMO) Chris Jones said:
Extreme heat warnings are not issued lightly by the Met Office and the potential health risks need to be taken seriously.
Very high temperatures can be dangerous for everyone but elderly people, children, those with chronic health problems and vulnerable people who may struggle to keep cool are at a higher risk.
Demand on NHS Wales and our emergency services is already high so by taking extra precautions to keep ourselves and our families safe, we can all help to reduce pressure on these vital services.
These temperatures can be particularly worrying for vulnerable or elderly people so I would also urge people to check in on neighbours and relatives to make sure they are keeping as cool as possible as the temperature rises.
To protect yourselves and others:
- stay hydrated – drinking water is vital as your body loses more fluid in higher temperature
- plan ahead and stay in the shade – it is best to avoid the hottest part of the day between midday and 3pm and avoid doing strenuous outdoor activities between these times.
- wear sunglasses and sun protection – sunscreens or sun blocks will help to prevent sunburn
- to keep your home cool, turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment and keep rooms shaded by closing blinds and curtains
- do not leave young children, elderly people or pets in parked cars as temperatures inside can soar
- while the temptation to cool off may be high, be careful around open water including river and lakes and supervise children
- wear loose fitting clothing and a hat if outdoors
If you are worried about any symptoms related to heat visit the NHS 111 website - 111.wales.nhs.uk - to check your symptoms or call 111 for advice.
The extreme heat warning is likely to have a significant impact across society:
There may be significant impacts on transport infrastructure in Wales during the period of extreme heat, including road and rail. Travellers should plan ahead and ensure they have plenty of water. The heat will mean that vehicles are more likely to break down on roads and could also place strain the rail network, both of which could lead to travel disruption and delays. Travellers should check with their rail or bus operator, Traffic Wales or Traveline Cymru to be alerted to any disruption and change their travel plans accordingly.
Schools and childcare
Advice is being provided to schools and childcare settings to deal with the extreme heat, including avoiding vigorous physical activity and maximising shade and ventilation. Children should wear loose, light-coloured clothing if possible, wear hats outdoors and drink plenty of water.
All workplaces have a legal responsibility to ensure a safe and healthy environment for their workers. Employers should make reasonable adjustments to ensure that employees can carry out their work safely and in line with the Health and Safety Executive’s advice on working in hot temperatures.
For all events scheduled during the extreme heat period, organisers should review additional communications out to attendees, spectators and participants - both prior to and during, the event - advising on recommended safe behaviours in extreme heat. They should also consider the need for any additional measures, in relation to event staging and infrastructure, in order to mitigate against the worst effects of extreme heat – for example provision of extra shade, water stations and other measures. Based on further consideration of the risks, they should assess whether all or part of the event should be postponed.
Royal Welsh Show
The extreme heat warning coincides with the start of the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd. Visitors and exhibitors should follow all advice from the show organisers to ensure the safety and well-being of attendees and welfare of animals. Anyone who owns or is responsible for an animal has a legal duty to take reasonable steps to ensure its welfare needs are met. Show exhibitors should inspect their animals often. If they have any concerns about the welfare of livestock, they should immediately contact the on-site veterinary team.
Welsh Government Ministers and officials are also taking part in UK-wide Civil Contingencies structures to ensure a co-ordinated approach to cross-border issues caused by the extreme heat.