It is forecasted to be exceptionally hot over the coming days. Temperatures will rise to tropical levels. This can lead to problems for people with vulnerable health. People in good health can also suffer from these temperatures. That is why RIVMNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment has implemented the National Heat Plan for the whole of the Netherlands from Tuesday 23 July 2019. 

According to the Royal Meteorological Institute KNMI, Tuesday will already be tropically warm in many places in the Netherlands. KNMI expects exceptionally high temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday. The nights will also stay warm; it will not be colder than around 20 degrees Celsius. On the weekend, it seems to cool down a bit, but in the south and east, it can still be tropical warm. 

Extra attention and complaints

The heat plan is, in fact, a warning of heat and the risks it can entail, and a call to pay extra attention to each other. Especially for groups of vulnerable people, such as the elderly, a baby, the chronically ill, people who are overweight, people in nursing homes and people who are socially isolated, the heat entails health risks. These people need to be alert to dehydration and overheating. Babies and very young children also need extra attention to stay cool and drink enough. 

Because of the extreme heat, people in good health can also suffer from overheating or sunstroke. Please pay close attention to symptoms that may indicate this: fatigue, concentration problems, dizziness and headaches. Also, dehydration can cause cramps, nausea, exhaustion, faintness and unconsciousness. Consult with the General Practitioner in case of serious symptoms or if the symptoms do not diminish quickly.

Measures against the sun and heat

  • Sufficient drinking
  • Thin clothing that offers protection against sunburn
  • Use of sunscreen
  • Stay in the shade
  • Limit physical exertion in the afternoon, avoid strenuous activity
  • Keep indoors cool by the timely use of curtains, blinds, fan or air conditioning
  • Pay special attention to people around you who need care. 

High UV index

The power of the sun's ultraviolet (UV ultraviolet) radiation is probably also high: between 7 and 8. This means that the skin can burn within 15 minutes. So protect yourself from the sun. RIVM continuously measures the sun's power. You can find the current UV index on the website.

About the Heat Plan

KNMI and RIVM decide together whether to activate the heat plan. The risk of prolonged warm weather, with maximum temperatures above 27 degrees Celsius, plays an important role in this. Also, the expected nighttime temperature and humidity are factors that are taken into account. 

Tips, advice or questions

For tips, advice or questions about your health, please contact your regional Municipal Public Health Service (GGD). The Red Cross also provides advice via the website and social media as long as the heat lasts.