Stay safe and healthy during the hot weather

25/06/2018, PR8830

stay safe this summer

As a heatwave hits the district, Wakefield Council is urging everyone to be aware of the risks of cooling off or playing in ponds, lakes and flooded quarries.

It is dangerous to swim in places that are not specially created for swimming. Although open water can look inviting on hot days, there are often hidden dangers underneath, such as discarded waste that can entrap people, as well as slippery rocks and changes in water depth. Water can also be dangerously cold when it gets deeper.

Cllr Maureen Cummings
Cllr Maureen Cummings

Cllr Maureen Cummings, Cabinet Member for Environment and Communities, said: "During hot weather some people may be tempted to go into the water for what appears to be a cooling dip, but swimmers have no idea of what is under the surface.

"Tangles of weeds and rubbish could ensnare a swimmer and put them in danger of drowning or severe injury. The water can also become dangerously cold when it gets deeper. If you see anyone in danger please call 999 immediately." 

The Council is also asking people to be aware of another summer time hazard - the potential for damaging fires being caused by countryside barbecues.

Cllr Cummings added: "We want everyone to enjoy themselves this summer, and make the most of the sunshine. So please have fun but be careful and if you are having a barbecue only use a purpose-manufactured one and be careful of where you site it."

With the heatwave forecast to hit over 25 degrees for much of the week, the Council is also encouraging people to stay hydrated and keep cool - safely.

Hot weather can drive up the body's temperature and lead to over-heating. This can make people feel hot, dizzy and disorientated.

Cllr Pat Garbutt

Cllr Pat Garbutt, Cabinet Member for Adults and Health said: "It's important to keep topping up your fluid intake, but avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.

"So, if you are planning some time in the sun, especially if you are looking to exercise, it's important to remember to drink cool fluids at regular intervals so you feel at your best and can enjoy the summer weather to the full.

"But it's best to avoid getting too hot in the first place, so keep windows closed when the room is cooler than it is outside and open windows at night when the temperature outside has dropped. It also helps to reduce heat from sunlight coming through the windows.

"And if you do find yourself getting too hot, have cool showers or baths, or splash your face with cold water frequently to help keep your body cool.

"Please also look out for any vulnerable or elderly neighbours who may be affected by the heat. If you have any concerns about them please contact Social Care Direct on 0345 8 503 503 or in the event of an emergency call 999."

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has more information and advice on staying safe this summer at www.rospa.com  People can find helpful advice on staying well in a heatwave at www.wakefield.gov.uk/summersafe

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