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Heatwave Guidance

Tips For Coping In Hot Weather

Tips for coping in hot weather

 

The following advice applies to everybody when it comes to keeping cool and comfortable and reducing health risks:

  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
  • Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

If you’re worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the local environmental health office at your local authority. Environmental health workers can visit a home to inspect it for hazards to health, including excess heat.

The Met Office have produced some top tips to get the most out of the warmer weather whilst staying safe.

 

How do I know if someone needs help?

 

If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink. If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, seek medical help.

For more information on protecting health and reducing harm from severe heat and heatwaves, Public Health England produce a Heatwave Plan for England

Pet Welfare in Hot Weather

Britain's RSPCA animal charity has issued advice on how people can help their pets stay cool as the mercury soars.

"Simple things like moving small animals out of direct sunlight, topping up drinking water and waiting until the cooler part of the day to walk your dog or ride your horse can make a real difference to the welfare of your animals," said RSPCA chief inspector Dermot Murphy.

Dogs die in hot cars

Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.


Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.


A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.


What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day


In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.


Don’t be afraid to dial 999, the police will inform us if animal welfare assistance is required.
 

Help a dog in a hot car


Establish the animal's health/condition. If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 Immediately.
 
If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away/unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog.

If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.
 
Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do, why, and take images/footage of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident.

The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).

Once removed, if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, follow our emergency first aid advice. This could mean the difference between life and death for the dog.

If the dog is not displaying symptoms of heatstroke:


Establish how long the dog has been in the car? A ‘pay and display’ ticket could help.
 
Make a note of the car’s registration. If the owner returns, but you still feel the situation was dangerous for the dog, you may still report the incident to the police.
 
If you’re at a superstore/venue/event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation.
 
If possible, get someone to stay with the dog to monitor their condition. If they begin to display signs of distress/heatstroke, be prepared to dial 999.
 
You can also call our cruelty line for advice any time on 0300 1234 999. However, if the dog is in danger, dialing 999 should always be the first step.


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