Hot weather has led to a 552% increase in people seeking heat exhaustion advice from the NHS website this week, figures show.
There were 32,130 visits to the health advice page on heat exhaustion and heatstroke from Sunday to Thursday this week, according to figures released by NHS England, which runs the NHS website.
This is compared with 4,928 visits made during the same period last week, when temperatures across England were cooler.
Highs of 32.6C (90.7F) in Wisley in Surrey on Thursday surpassed this year’s previous record of 32.2C on 10 June, the Met Office said.
It is expected that the record for three consecutive days of hot weather in September will be beaten this week.
The Met Office said while temperatures had reached similar levels in 2020 and 2021, the hot weather – and heatwave conditions in some parts of the country – could last until the end of the weekend.
The UK Health Security Agency, which provides alerts for the health and social care sector in England, issued an amber heat-health alert across much of the country, until 9pm on 10 September, which highlights the increased risks to those more vulnerable to heat.
Children, people over the age of 65 and those with pre-existing health conditions, such as respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, should be especially cautious in the hot weather.
Heatwave conditions were already met for much of England and Wales, including in areas of West Yorkshire, Cornwall, Devon and Wales on Tuesday.
The Met Office also said it will remain uncomfortably warm overnight in some parts of the UK, with temperatures remaining in excess of 20C.
Dame Ruth May, the chief nursing officer for England, said there was a high risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke during hot weather, especially among vulnerable groups.
“Keeping the body cool and drinking plenty of fluids is vitally important, as well as dressing sensibly.
“We also advise using high-factor sun screen and limiting the amount of time you spend in the sun to avoid the risk of sunburn and to prevent skin cancer,” she said.
The NHS advises that if someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, such as tiredness, headaches and feeling sick or being sick, they need to be cooled down and given fluids.
NHS tips to avoid heat exhaustion include:
Consume plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising.
Take cool baths or showers.
Wear light-coloured, loose clothing.
Sprinkle water over skin or clothes.
Avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm.
Avoid excess alcohol.
Avoid extreme exercise.