Flood area health risks

The following is a public health message from Somerset County Council for all residents in areas impacted by the flooding:

Schools in Somerset break up next week and while the vast majority of floodwater has gone from the Levels and Moors, there are still some extra precautions that can be taken.
Children should keep clear of any remaining floodwater, swollen rivers and areas of deep mud that have been left behind. The machinery involved in the current dredging should also be avoided.
On top of this, to minimise any possible risk, everyone in the affected area should continue to follow the basic hygiene advice.
Leader of Somerset County Council, Cllr John Osman, said: “Everyone involved in flood recovery is working hard to keep people safe.
“The initial dangers posed by the flooding have passed, but what has happened means there are some extra things for people to be careful about, especially if you have children at home during the holidays.”

Some hygiene tips for parents in flood-affected areas:
• Wash children’s hands frequently – particularly after playing outdoors and always before meals.
• Wash floodwater-contaminated toys with hot water detergent, putting soft toys in a hot (60C) machine wash.
• Wash clothes that have come into contact with floodwater on a separate cycle from other clothes.
• As you would do normally, seek medical advice if infants are unwell with diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain.
• Don’t eat food that has touched floodwater.

People should also be aware of the potential mental health impacts of flooding. It’s natural to feel tired, anxious and have problems sleeping if you have been affected by flooding. It takes time to deal with the situation and friends and family can provide help and support while life returns to normal.

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