Leeds and West Yorkshire: Heatwave alert issued UPDATED

Crowds on the final day of 2013 Great Yorkshire Show are reflected in the sunglasses belonging to Hannah Wilkinson, 24.
Crowds on the final day of 2013 Great Yorkshire Show are reflected in the sunglasses belonging to Hannah Wilkinson, 24.
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Health chiefs have issued a “heatwave alert” for the Yorkshire region this weekend where “extreme” temperatures are expected.

The warning, from Public Health England, came after the Met Office said there was a 90 per cent probability of heatwave conditions in Yorkshire over the weekend.

Yorkshire is the only region in the country to have a ‘level three alert’ issued - which means people need to take action to protect themselves from possible health effects of hot weather.

Temperatures in Leeds are expected to peak at 28°C this weekend and the warning remains in place until 8pm on Sunday. Other parts of the country have been issued with the lesser ‘level two’ heatwave alerts, after the Met Office predicted a 60 per cent change of heatwave temperatures being reached.

Dr Stephen Morton, director of the Yorkshire and Humber Public Health England Centre, said: “Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks. The elderly and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible. Even if temperatures do not hit ‘extreme’ levels, Public Health England still advises people to be aware of the health risks of hot weather.”

The health body’s advice also included: keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm; wear a hat and loose-fitting cotton clothes, eat cold foods such as salads and fruit with high water content and sprinkle water over clothing.

It also warned never to leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially babies, young children or animals. Dr Morton also urged to members of the Muslim community fasting during Ramadan to be aware of dehydration risks and anyone feeling unwell or disorientated to stop fasting and drink water.

Yorkshire Water also issued a warning against people cooling off in local reservoirs.

Recreation manager Geoff Lomas said can be potentially fatal. He said: “Most people won’t realise that, as soon as your body feels the shock of cold water, its natural defences kick in. The first sign of trouble is hyperventilation but, if the swimmer stays in the water, the body will gradually shut down to protect the vital organs and muscles will go into cramp.”

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