With temperatures expected to reach as high as the mid-thirties and an amber weather warning in place for much of Wales between Sunday 17 – Tuesday 19 July, residents of Bridgend County Borough are being urged to take extra care over the next few days.
Sustained periods of very hot weather can cause dehydration, overheating, heat exhaustion and heat stroke, especially among children and vulnerable people, and experts from Public Health Wales have issued advice on how local people can look after themselves, their families, neighbours and friends:
- Stay in the shade, especially between 11am-3pm.
- Cover up with a hat and loose-fitting clothing, preferably with long sleeves.
- Wear sun cream with a high sun protection factor.
- Keep warm air out by shutting windows and blinds during the day.
- Drink plenty of water, and avoid alcohol.
- Take cool showers to stop yourself getting too hot.
- Check on family, friends and neighbours, especially those who are vulnerable, elderly or who live alone.
- Consider temporarily changing your routines to avoid strenuous activity when the sun is at its hottest.
Local residents are also being urged to avoid swimming in rivers, lakes and other bodies of water as there is a danger of cramp or cold-water shock as well as unseen underwater obstacles.
Young people in particular are being reminded of the dangers of swimming in areas such as the flooded void at Parc Slip in Kenfig Hill.
During extremely hot weather, it is also important to know the symptoms of heatstroke. This is classed as a medical emergency and you should call 999 if experiencing symptoms such as:
- Feeling unwell after 30 minutes of resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water.
- Not sweating, even while feeling too hot.
- Having a high temperature of 40c or above.
- Experiencing fast breathing or a shortness of breath.
- Feeling confused.
- Experiencing a fit or seizure.
- Falling unconsciousness or being unresponsive.
Other warning signs to look out for include feeling dizzy, weak or anxious, or experiencing intense thirst and a headache. In such situations, you should move to a cool place as soon as possible, and drink water or fruit juice to rehydrate.
Heat cramps can be particularly painful. If you experience muscular spasms in the legs, arms or stomach following physical exertion in the heat, rest immediately in a cool place, and rehydrate with water or fruit juice.
If the heat cramps last for longer than one hour, seek medical attention, and if the symptoms persist, contact your GP.
If you are concerned about any symptoms that you or someone you know are experiencing, contact your GP or visit NHS 111 Wales.