Heatwaves, Health Impacts

"A heatwave refers to a prolonged period of abnormally hot weather which may be accompanied by high humidity. While there is no generally accepted definition of a heatwave, in Ireland it's classified as 5 consecutive days with a maximum temperature in excess of 25 degrees Celsius". (Met Eireann)

Heatwaves are associated with environmental effects and these can cause public health impacts such as:

Environmental Effect Potential Health Impact 
High temperature

Heat stress indoors especially for sick or elderly people - hence need for climate control

Heat stress outdoors including for outdoor workers

Child safety is very important

Bathing water incidents such as jellyfish stings

Foodborne illness associated with barbeques, breaches in temperature control

Waterborne illness due to altered water management systems

Legionellosis due to temperature control breaches in water systems, or in compost

Longer hours of direct sunlight Sunburn and UV related skin cancer
Drought leading to restricted water


Increased risk of infection 



Air quality problems

Please click into the above for more information and general health advice.

Updated 12th July 2018