An amber weather warning is now (July 17) in force for parts of the southeast, including Thanet, and will remain for Monday and Tuesday.
A red extreme heat warning was issued for the first time, as temperatures could hit 40C (104F), but this does not include east Kent and instead covers areas such as London, Manchester and York for tomorrow and Tuesday.
Temperatures for Thanet, according to the Met Office, are expected to peak at around 28C.
Many schools are advising that youngsters can wear loose, summer clothing and measures to keep youngsters cool will be put in place.
At Newington primary in Ramsgate the school will limit time children spend outside and there will be increased use of shaded areas around the main fields.
There will be increased water breaks in the day for pupils and staff, children can wear lightweight loose fitting summer uniform, and staff will be vigilant for any signs and symptoms of heat stroke or other related reactions.
Special attention will be paid to the lower school where young children are less able to regulate body temperature.
Head Teacher Hannah Tudor said: “This is unprecedented. It is the first time that the Met Office has issued red alert extreme heat warnings in the country and we are acting cautiously and sensibly.
“We have no wish to spoil the fun of the last week of the summer term for our children but we will monitor the impact of the heat as we go through the week and act accordingly to ensure their safety.”
Government guidelines will also be followed and official advice says: “Children cannot control their body temperature as efficiently as adults during hot weather because they do not sweat as much and so can be at risk of ill-health from heat. T
“he main risk from heat is dehydration (not having enough water in the body). If sensible precautions are taken children are unlikely to be adversely affected by hot conditions, however, teachers, assistants, school nurses and all child carers should look out for signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.”
At Drapers Mills Primary in Margate loose clothing is advised. All classrooms will have fans and pupils will not be going out on the school playground or field during the extreme heat. Parents are asked to make sure their child has a water bottle to keep hydrated throughout the day. The nursery provision is to be closed and the school may make the decision to send Key Stage 1 children home during the day.
At Newlands primary in Ramsgate children are asked to wear their PE kits; shorts and t-shirts on Monday and Tuesday, to bring in water bottles, sun hats and wears un cream, Both Newlands and Drapers Mills will authorise absence of children especially struggling with the heat.
The guidelines are being followed by schools across the isle.
Met Office Chief Meteorologist Paul Gundersen, said “Exceptional, perhaps record-breaking temperatures are likely early next week, quite widely across the red warning area on Monday, and focussed a little more east and north on Tuesday. Currently there is a 50% chance we could see temperatures top 40°C and 80% we will see a new maximum temperature reached.
“Nights are also likely to be exceptionally warm, especially in urban areas. This is likely to lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important people plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.”
The step up in warning level to red is running parallel to an increase in the current Heat Health Warning to Level 4 for England by the UK Health Security Agency.
Temperatures are expected to start to return closer to normal for the time of year from the middle of next week onwards as cooler air pushes across the country from the west.
The full Government health advice for children can be viewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/heatwave-plan-for-england/looking-after-children-and-those-in-early-years-settings-during-heatwaves-for-teachers-and-professionals