TODAY temperatures are predicted to rise to 38 degrees putting several people and pets in danger.

During the most recent hot spell in June, East of England ambulance crews received a higher number of calls for patients with heart conditions and breathing problems.


Expert - Kelly McLoughlin, a paramedic from Canvey, is urging the public to stay out of the sun unless necessary

The heat was also felt by older and younger members of the public in particular.

Kelly McLoughlin, a paramedic from Canvey, is urging the public to stay out of the sun unless necessary.

The 34-year-old said: “Stay inside if you can, when it’s this hot, it’s so easy to burn extremely quickly.

“We get most of our calls about elderly or very young patients, who are most at risk in the heat.

“Their skin is different so it’s easier for them to burn, and harder for them to retain fluids.

“When you sweat, you often release fluids faster than you take them in, so it’s really important to drink much more than you normally would to stay hydrated.

“If you have to go out, use factor 50 sun cream, wear a hat and glasses, stay in shaded areas and eat light meals.”

The number of people visiting their GP and calling 111 for heat-related illness can double during a heatwave.

Simon Lewis, head of crisis response at the British Red Cross, said: “We know that those at greatest risk during heatwaves tend to be elderly people, very young children, pregnant women, those with pre-existing medical conditions and people working outside.

“I’d advise everybody to familiarise themselves with our first aid tips in case anybody around them is affected.”

Those suffering from heat exhaustion may be feeling dizzy or confused, complaining of a headache, be sweating and feeling nauseous. You could help them by getting them to a cool place, giving them plenty to drink and seeking medical advice.

To help those with heatstroke, call 999 immediately and cool them while help is on it’s way.

Dawn Patience, director of nursing at Basildon Hospital, said: “Make sure you carry water with you in your car, particularly if going on a long journey. Check on those with serious chronic conditions and mobility problems. If active or when at work, make sure you take regular breaks.

“If you have medication that needs to be kept cool, please adhere to this.

“Try to avoid going out during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm.”

Southend councillor Trevor Harp, cabinet member for healthy communities and wellbeing, added: “We advise residents to keep cool, and in the shade where possible, keep hydrated and look out for vulnerable friends and neighbours.”

Stanford and Wickford branches of Cherrydown Vets will be closed today. The Basildon branch, which has a more efficient air-cooling system, will be open.

Vets are warning not to take pets outside and to use suncream for animals if necessary.

The emergency services are expecting a significant rise in calls with the ambulance service making plans to cope with what is expected to be an extremely high demand particularly with the heatwave and summer holidays.