Met Office warn of heatwave in East Sussex.

Local girl 4 year old Scarlett Roberts enjoys an ice cream on the seafront at Eastbourne July 8th 2013 E28096P
Local girl 4 year old Scarlett Roberts enjoys an ice cream on the seafront at Eastbourne July 8th 2013 E28096P

The hot weather is set to continue in East Sussex through to the weekend, with the Met Office today warning of heatwave conditions today and tomorrow - possibly reaching 30c (86f).

Beaches have been packed, ice cream sellers have been doing a roaring trade and barbecues have been given a rare airing following a sunshine-filled July which has seen temperatures soar.

With the hot weather expected to stay through to the weekend, all this in stark constrast to a miserable and cold start to the summer.

Now the Met Office has said that high temperatures close to 30c are expected to continue over much of the region in the next few days.

A Level 3 Heat Health Watch criteria has been posted for London and the south-east which has prompted health officials to issue warnings to the very young, elderly, pregnant women and seriously ill. In particular, very hot weather can make heart and breathing problems worse.

Animal charities are also warning owners to keep an eye out for their pets, while East Sussex Fire & Rescue yesterday issued a warning after two gorse fires in the county this week, one as a result of a camp fire which got out of control.

A Level 3 warning, just one notch below the most serious alert, is part of a nationwide heat-health watch system, which puts health, housing, social care and other public bodies on alert in case of a heatwave.

In August 2003, temperatures in the UK hit 38c (101f) during a nine-day heatwave which caused 2,000 to 3,000 excess deaths.

Health officials are advising people experiencing the very hot weather to stay cool, drink lots of cold fluids and keep an eye on those they know to be at risk.

“Most of the information is common sense,” said Graham Bickler, from the Health Protection Agency. “It’s not rocket science but it can have a dramatic effect.”

Tips for coping in hot weather:

Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.

Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.

Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn’t possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).

Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.

Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.

Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.

Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.

Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.

Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors.

Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

If you’re worried about yourself or a vulnerable neighbour, friend or relative, you can contact the local environmental health office at your local authority. Environmental health workers can visit a home to inspect it for hazards to health, including excess heat.