Hot weather warning: Expert shares 5 tips on how to survive the ‘extreme heat’

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The UK weather forecast in the coming days looks grim, with thermometers in parts of the country already exceeding 30C. A hot weather warning is in effect for southwest England, Wales and Northern Ireland after the Met Office sounded the alarm bells this week on a state of “extreme heat”. Temperatures are expected to reach 33C in parts of the nation – and that means you will need to take extra care to avoid heat-related stress.

No matter how pleasant it may seem to some, hot weather has the potential to be lethal.

Only last year, nearly 2,500 deaths have been linked to three heatwaves that struck the UK in the summer.

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According to Chloe Brimicombe, a PhD candidate in Climate Change and Health at the University of Reading, the disastrous conditions have forced the Met Office to reevaluate how it forecasts hot weather.

The wave of deaths last year marked the highest number of heat-related fatalities in Europe since 2003.

Health experts at the NHS have warned heatwaves can lead to a number of dire symptoms and complications that, if left untreated, can be deadly.

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READ MORE: Genius towel hack to keep your home cool during a heatwave

Symptoms of heat-induced stress include overheating, heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

But there is some good news, according to Ms Brimicombe – you can prepare for the worst the heatwave has to offer.

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The expert discussed the Met Office’s extreme heat warning in an article penned for The Conversation.

She shared five tips you can follow this week to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe.

How to survive the extreme heat this week – top tips

Ms Brimicombe said: “If your area is subject to an extreme heat warning, do not panic.

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“There are lots of ways to avoid heat stress, which can cause lethargy, diarrhoea and headaches.”

2. Stay hydrated at all times during the day

When the mercury hits red, you really want to stay on top of your hydration levels.

Your body loses a lot of water through sweat during a heatwave but also when you breathe.

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The same is true when you are asleep so you should always keep some water next to your bed.

Ms Brimicombe said: “Drink more often than you usually would, even when you don’t feel thirsty.

“If you don’t like water, squash is good to replenish the minerals your body needs.”

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Be sure to drinks lots of water as well if you plan on drinking alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

3. Cool your house down

Staying indoors during a heatwave can be unbearable, especially if we don’t know how to keep the temperatures down.

You can cool your house by pulling the curtains close and opening your windows – but only the sides of your house not facing the Sun.

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If you have an extractor fan in the kitchen, now might be the time to turn it on.

If at all possible, open your front door and leave it that way to maximise the airflow through your house.

4. Stay alert and aware of the heat-induced

Pay attention to those who may be more vulnerable to the hot weather.

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These include people over the age of 65, pregnant women, people with medical conditions and children under the age of five.

You should also stay out of direct sunlight between 12pm and 3pm which is when Ms Brimicombe said the sun is at its strongest.

5. Stay on the lookout for other associated risks

Heat-induced symptoms such as heat exhaustion are dangerous but there are many more dangers associated with the heatwave.

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Pay attention to sunburns and apply appropriate amounts of sunscreen to your skin.

Air pollution is another danger that is heightened during a heatwave.

Ms Brimicombe added: “There are also risks unrelated to health, such as train signal failures that can disrupt daily life.”

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