Doctors have told parents they should keep children inside during days of scorching weather, as a new heat-health alert has been issued for parts of the country.

A yellow alert has been put in place by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and the Met Office for seven regions of England from Friday until Monday.

Under the new HHA system introduced by UKHSA and the Met Office, a yellow alert means that any impacts include the increased use of health care services by vulnerable populations and an increase in risk to health for individuals over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases.

The Kid Collective spoke to an NHS doctor to understand the risk excessive temperatures could have on children and why keeping them indoors on scorching days is necessary for their health. 

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Dr Rachel Ward, NHS GP in Oxfordshire, said: “During periods of high temperatures, children are more likely to have exacerbations of respiratory conditions like asthma and may end up attending their GP or A&E for assessment and treatment.

“Children are more prone to developing dehydration or heat exhaustion during hot weather as it is more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature.

“By staying out in the heatwave for too long, children can develop heat exhaustion where they experience dizziness, headache, excessive sweating, vomiting, thirst and a high temperature.

“It’s important that they are cooled down straight away with cold drinks, fans and shade. This may progress into heatstroke, where their temperature remains very high, but they stop sweating.

“If this occurs, they become confused and may experience a fit. This is a medical emergency, and you should call 999.

“Hot weather is also frequently associated with worsening of hayfever symptoms, and children will have itchy eyes, wheeze and a runny nose.

“Children can also develop a prickly heat-type rash in the sun, which is raised and itchy.“

Seven regions of England are covered by the new heat-health alert, including London, South East, South West, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, and Yorkshire and the Humber.

Dr Agostinho Sousa, Head of Extreme Events and Health Protection at UKHSA, said: “This heat-health alert means that in the coming days we are likely to experience another sustained period of hot weather, so it’s important that everyone takes sensible precautions while enjoying the sun.

“Forecasted temperatures this week could primarily impact those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing health conditions.

“If you have friends, family or neighbours who are more vulnerable, it is important to check in on them and ensure they are aware of the forecasts and are following the necessary advice.”

The Met Office forecasts show temperatures reaching as high as 29C this weekend.