Source: Channel Islands – Jersey
20 July 2021
The Public Health department is reminding Islanders of the potential health risks associated with hot weather.
While many people welcome the hot summer weather which arrived over the weekend and is forecast to continue until late this week, sensible precautions are recommended to minimise any risk to health.
Director of Public Health, Dr Peter Bradley, says “Temperatures are already high in Jersey and are expected to remain so into Friday. Taking precautions is particularly important for those most at risk from the effects of exposure to heat. This includes older people, especially those over 75, babies, young children and people with a chronic medical condition, especially heart or respiratory problems.”
There are several sensible, simple steps that everyone can take to keep cool and cope during very hot weather:
- shut windows, pull down the shades or close curtains to keep rooms as cool as possible. If it’s safe, open windows for ventilation when it is cooler
- avoid overheating: 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
- 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
- identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool
- wear loose, cool clothing
- check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves
- take steps to ensure protection from the sun by using sunscreen and hats – such measures are especially important for babies and young children
- be aware that extreme levels of heat can develop in cars and other confined spaces, and avoid leaving children in cars, even for very short periods. This advice also applies to pets.
Sun safety for children
- use shade: Keep babies in complete shade: under trees, umbrellas, canopies or indoors
- cover them up: When outdoors, protect a baby’s skin with loose-fitting clothes, and a wide-brimmed hat that shades their face, neck and ears
- wear sunglasses: Buy good quality, wraparound sunglasses for children, as soon as they can wear them. Sunglasses don’t have to be expensive brands
- find hats they like: Encourage children to wear hats with brims, especially if they are not wearing sunglasses
- use sunscreen wisely: Use at least a factor 30 sunscreen and choose a “broad-spectrum” brand that protects against UVA rays – the more stars the better. Apply to areas that cannot be protected by clothing, such as the face, ears, feet and backs of hands. Choose sunscreens that are formulated for children and babies’ skin. These products are less likely to contain alcohol or fragrances that might irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions
- apply sunscreen generously and regularly: Put some on before children go outdoors. Sunscreen can easily be washed, rubbed or sweated off – so reapply often throughout the day