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When the heat is on

Most of us love the sunny weather, however really hot weather for a period of time has additional risks.

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most at risk in extreme heat are young children, the elderly and people with serious health conditions.

Cool down

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids, even if you aren’t thirsty.
  • Stay out of the sun when it is really hot, especially during the hottest time of the day (11am to 3pm).
  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these will dehydrate you.
  • Loose fitting clothes will help to keep you cool.
  • Take it easy. Don’t do too much exercise.
  • Try limiting strenuous work to the early morning or evening when it’s cooler.
  • Have a cool shower, bath or wash

When you’re outdoors

  • Make sure children are wearing sunscreen, a hat and a t-shirt.
  • Don’t forget your sun cream, sunglasses and a hat or a scarf.
  • Try and stay in the shade.

Keeping your house cool

  • Closing blinds and curtains can help.
  • Plants and bowls of water may help to keep rooms cool.
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun during the day closed.
  • Open windows at night when it is safe to do so.
    • If you have children:
      • Fit window locks or safety catches to stop windows opening more than 6.5cm.
      • Move furniture like beds and chairs away from windows to stop children climbing up and falling out.

Going on a journey

  • Take plenty of water with you, whether you’re travelling a car or on public transport.
  • On long journeys take regular breaks and have plenty of water in your car. You never know if you’re going to get stuck in traffic.
  • Remember to take any medication you need and a phone with you.

Direct sunlight

  • The sun’s rays can be magnified by a lens or magnifying mirror.
  • If they become focused on a near-by object such as curtains, clothing, paper or furniture they could cause a fire.
  • Make sure mirrors, glass ornaments or paperweights are not in the sunlight.

Cars can be like ovens

  • Don’t leave very young babies, children or the elderly alone in a parked car.
  • Don’t leave pets in your car, even for a few minutes.
  • Babies and young children can overheat very quickly in hot weather, especially in car seats. Travel early in the day to avoid the heat.

Who could you help?

  • If you have elderly relatives or neighbours check on them and make sure they are okay.

Feeling unwell

  • Find somewhere cool to rest and drink plenty of fluids, ideally water.
  • You may want to seek medical help if the following symptoms get worse or don’t go away.
    • Breathlessness
    • Chest pain
    • Confusion
    • Weakness
    • Dizziness
    • Or cramps.

Useful beat the heat guide from Public Health England

Beat the heat guide from Public Health England