Public health and RNLI beach warning and advice as temperatures soar during Liverpool heatwave

Public Health officials have warned people are “fully exposed to the effects of the sun and heat” on the beach.

With Liverpool and Merseyside baking in a heatwave early this week and many schools closed for the summer holidays thousands of people are expected to descend on the region’s beaches.

But with the Met Office issuing an unprecedented red weather warning for the UK for extreme heat local public health officials and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) have issued safety warnings.

Temperatures in some parts of the UK are expected to hit 41°C, while parts of Merseyside are forecast to reach 37°C on Tuesday.

Crosby Beach with the dock and Liverpool in the background. Photo: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

RNLI Hoylake has urged the public to respect the water and take care in the sun if they are heading to the coast. The emergency rescue team has stressed the need to check tide times, look out for safety signage, keep an eye on surroundings and know a route to safety should the tide come in.

Meanwhile, Sefton Council, who can count popular sweeping beaches in Crosby, Formby and Southport under their jurisdiction have urged people to be fully prepared for the soaring temperatures as they will be “fully exposed to the effects of the sun and heat” on the coast.

Margaret Jones, Sefton Council’s Director of Public Health said: “While I can fully understand that many people’s thoughts will turn to visiting the coast, what we need to remember is that on the beach, we are fully exposed to the effects of the sun and heat, especially if we are not prepared.

“It is important to stay out of the sun as much as possible during the hottest part of the day. While it is so sunny, if we do go out, we should wear sunscreen and a hat and try and stay in the shade. We should try and keep cool. This could be indoors or outdoors in the shade.

The golden sands of Southport Beach are part of the 22-mile Sefton coastline leading from the Mersey into the Ribble Estuary

“If you do want to go out, staying local in areas such as parks where trees and shelters can provide shade will be cooler and much more suitable for young children and elderly people who can succumb to the potentially dangerous effects of heat and dehydration very quickly.”

The council said Sefton and its partner coast teams would be on duty over the coming days and can provide first aid, but added that people needing additional emergency treatment might find themselves ‘facing a long wait’ due to ambulance services at full stretch.

People visiting beaches have been asked to dispose of rubbish carefully and take home litter such as glass, which can cause fires in strong sunshine.

Dogs should also be kept under control due to migrating birds returning to the shoreline.

How to stay safe in the sun

Liverpool City Council has published some top tips for coping in the heat:

  • Drink lots of cold drinks, avoid excess alcohol and carry water if you head outside. Aim for 6-8 glasses a day.
  • Use sunscreen – minimum SPF 30. Top up every two hours, and always after swimming. Sunburn is never fun.
  • Wear loose fitting clothes, a hat and sunglasses.
  • Stick to the shade between 11 and 3 – as this is when the sun’s UV rays are strongest.
  • You don’t have to stop exercising but avoid it during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms which face the sun – and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
  • Take cool baths or showers to stop yourself from overheating.
  • Never leave anyone in a closed parked vehicle – including animals.
  • Check medicines can be stored according to the instructions on their packaging.
  • Don’t risk swimming in canals or reservoirs – cold water shock can kill.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion advice

NHS Cheshire and Merseyside has warned people to drink plenty of fluids and avoid excessive alcohol and to look out for older people and others who might find it difficult to stay cool and hydrated in hot weather.