Heatwave Advice

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pineapple Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health risks.

With the heatwave continuing make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know.

The main risks posed by a heatwave are:

  • dehydration (not having enough water)
  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • heat exhaustion and heatstroke

A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports

Tips to stay well in the heat:

  • Stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat
  • Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter)
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
  • Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool
  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat if you go outdoors
  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler

If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest and give them plenty of fluids to drink. Remember to check in on older friends, relatives and neighbours who maybe less able to look after themselves. 

If symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don’t go away, seek medical help by speaking to your local Pharmacist, GP or by calling NHS 111.

For more information visit NHS Choices website where there’s lots of good advice on staying safe in the sun. You can also download the national heatwave plan here: 

pdf Heatwave plan for England 2018 (1.64 MB)