Please find below an important message from Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, on keeping children safe during the National Heatwave Emergency, and which we kindly ask you to share with parents/carers.
National Heatwave Emergency – keeping children safe
For the first time temperatures of 40°C have been forecast in the UK today and tomorrow.
Exceptional heat is already affecting a large part of England including Birmingham and the West Midlands and this can particularly affect children, especially babies and infants under 4yrs old and children with long term health conditions like diabetes as well as children with special needs.
We want to help keep your children safe and well during this extreme weather.
Children cannot control their body temperature as well as adults during hot weather and so can be at risk of ill-health from heat. Heat-related illness can range from mild heat stress to heatstroke.
Teachers, assistants, and all staff will be looking out for signs of heat stress when your child is at school or nursery, and you can look out for these signs too at home.
Children suffering from heat stress may behave out of character or show signs of discomfort and irritability, so be aware of any changes.
The main risk from heat is dehydration (not having enough water in the body) so make sure your child is drinking plenty of water. They will need more than normal in these high temperatures.
Children should not take part in vigorous physical activity on very hot days.
Children should wear loose, light-coloured clothing to help keep cool and sunhats with wide brims.
High factor sunscreen should be used to protect skin and try to avoid playing out in the sun.
A few tips that can help keep your children cool:
If you or your child take regular medication please check the label as some medicines will need to be kept cool in this extreme heat.
We all have a part to play in keeping our children safe in these extreme temperatures.
Dr Justin Varney
Director of Public Health