As the mercury rises, people are being urged to take care if they are out and about in the hot weather.

Although temperatures this week are not yet at levels at which a heatwave would be declared, the continuous hot weather is a reminder that people should practice "sun sense" and look out for others, especially the vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

Health organisations and local authorities are also preparing for hotter weather by reviewing the Heatwave Plan for England, which maps out the actions that will be taken in the case of a heatwave.

Health chiefs have outlined a number of steps that people should follow if they are outdoors for more than 20 minutes, particularly during the key period of 11am to 3pm, typically the hottest time of day:

  • wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade and apply sunscreen of at least sun protection factor 15 with UVA protection
  • wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes, a hat and light scarf, which will help to minimise the risk of sunburn
  • drink lots of cool drinks, avoiding alcohol
  • seek shade whenever possible
  • look out for others, particularly vulnerable members of society the elderly and older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • don't leave children or animals in hot cars
  • and don't go for a swim in deep water, such as canals and lakes

Ros Jervis, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "It's nice that the sun is shining and we can all enjoy a taste of summer - but it's important to remember that rising heat does bring health risks for some.

"For the time being we recommend that people keep an eye on the weather forecast for the coming days and if it gets hotter consider avoiding the sun between 11am and 3pm, drink plenty of fluids and keep an eye out for children and the older people.

"It's important to make the most of the good weather but equally important that people don't get too much sun or heat and make themselves ill."

  • released: Thursday 24 July, 2014