Fun in the sun comes with health warning for Redbridge as ambulance calls rocket

Barbecues, ice cream and cold drinks have been flying off the shelves in Redbridge as the soaring temperatures and sunshine continue.

Shoppers at Tesco in High Road, Goodmayes, have been getting to the tills early to make the most of the good weather.

Store manager Kam Kamprajapati said: “Shoppers are snapping up summer clothes and garden furniture, and BBQs and bangers are flying off the shelves too.”

There is no sign of a return to normal British summer conditions as the heat wave continues for the coming days.

According to the Met Office, temperatures will dip to around 26C on Friday before continuing to rise to a scorching 33C towards the end of next week.

The number of people fainting in Redbridge more than doubled last weekend, compared with June 15/16.

The London Ambulance Service said calls to life-threatening incidents in the borough had also increased.

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Ambulance Operations Manager Michael Pearce asked people to only call 999 in a “genuine emergency” and consider GPs, pharmacies and calling 111 as alternatives. He added: “Among the types of calls that we have seen an increase in are patients with breathing problems, chest pains and fainting. Staff have also treated more patients with alcohol-related injuries and illnesses.”

A public health warning was issued last week when a “level two” alert was triggered for high temperatures.

Public Health England (PHE) said the weather can cause illness and even death for vulnerable older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

Dr Yvonne Doyle, regional director for PHE London, said: “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the sunshine, but high temperatures can be dangerous.

“Everyone can enjoy the sun safely by keeping out of the heat at the hottest time of the day, avoiding sunburn and staying hydrated with plenty of cool drinks.”

She urged Redbridge residents not to leave people or animals in parked cars, to keep homes well ventilated and check on vulnerable people.

The heat has also caused problems with trains as metal rails overheat in the sun.

Trains through Ilford were delayed and cancelled on Tuesday when emergency speed restrictions were put on the line.

A Network Rail spokesman said the track can heat up to over 50C - 20C higher than air temperature - in prolonged spells of good weather and trains are slowed down to prevent any damage.