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Stay cool in hot weather

News : 23 July 2019

With very hot weather expected to continue over the next few days, here’s some helpful tips to keep cool


...and don’t forget to check that friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves are alright:

Stay out of the heat:

•keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm

•if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf

•avoid extreme physical exertion

•wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes


Cool yourself down:

•have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks

•eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content 

•take a cool shower, bath or body wash

•sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck


Keep your environment cool:

•keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves

•place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature

•keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped

•close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space

•turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat

•keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air

•if possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping

•electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35°C


Look out for others:

•keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool

•ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars

•check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed


If you have a health condition affected by high temperatures:


•keep medicines below 25°C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging)

•seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications


Owen Landeg, Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist at Public Health England has this to add:

“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense and for many people spells of warmer weather are something they very much enjoy. However, for some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. 

“That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer.”