UK weather: stay out of the sun, doctors warn, as Britain braces for its hottest day | UK weather

UK weather: stay out of the sun, doctors warn, as Britain braces for its hottest day | UK weather

Health warnings have been issued about this week’s heatwave, which is expected to bring the hottest day of the year, with prolonged temperatures higher than in the Greek islands, and intensify pressure on water supplies.

Parents were advised to keep their children out of the sun this week, while a water company revealed that it was already looking at ways to avert introducing water restrictions for the first time since the relentless heatwave of 1976.

Meanwhile, the UK Health Security Agency issued a “heat-health” alert running from Monday until Friday, particularly for the south and east of England.

Temperatures are predicted to hit 33C on Tuesday, eclipsing this year’s record high which currently stands at 32.7C, recorded at Heathrow airport last month. By comparison, temperatures on the Greek island of Santorini will peak at 29C.

Already, South West Water has called on customers to try to save five litres of water a day to maintain reservoir levels, admitting that pressure on supplies is building. Lisa Gahan, the director responsible for water resources, said there had been no restrictions in the region since 1976 and “if we are careful we can have another year without any restrictions”.

More immediate is the threat to health with at least one children’s hospital issuing advice to wear sun cream and light-coloured clothing and stay in the shade. Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust added that carers should ensure children stay hydrated by drinking water “little and often”. The British Red Cross also urged people to keep bottled water “on hand in case of problems with the water supply”.

The health security agency has advised people in the hottest areas to shade or cover their windows, check fridges are working properly and that medicine is stored correctly. It also advised people to drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol during this week.

Agostinho Sousa, head of extreme events and health protection at the agency, said: “If you have vulnerable family, friends and neighbours, make sure they are aware of how they can keep themselves protected from the warm weather.”

Council leaders have also warned that casual swimmers should be aware of the risk of drowning during the extreme weather. Last year, 277 people drowned, 23 more than the year before.

Temperatures are forecast to stay above average throughout this week, prompting the Met Office to issue a level 3 heat health alert for south-east England. A level 2 warning is in place for the rest of England.

Today, Britain is expected to bask in sunshine with people in London and south-east England told to expect highs of 29C and clear skies. Met Office meteorologist Dan Stroud said: “We should see pretty much wall-to-wall sunshine across the bulk of England and Wales and a good portion of Scotland.”

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