Why is a heat wave a problem?
The main risks posed by a heat wave are:
- Not drinking enough water (dehydration)
- overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
- heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Tips for coping in hot weather
The top ways for staying safe when the heat arrives are to:
- Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk.
- If you live alone, ask a relative or friend to phone to check that you are not having difficulties during periods of extreme heat.
- Stay cool indoors: Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors.
- If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately.
- Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol.
- Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.
- Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest.
- Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat.
- Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day.
- Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling.
- Check the latest weather forecast and temperature warnings
- During warm weather, make sure you know the dangers of swimming in open water. See: Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue water safety advice
Useful links to more information
- NHS - how to cope in hot weather (who is most at risk, tips, and what signs to watch out for with heat related illness)
- NHS - heat exhaustion and heatstroke (how to check for signs of heat exhaustion; prevent it and cool someone down)
- Gov.uk - hot weather health guidance and advice (how to stay connected, keep well and find somewhere cool)
- Met Office - WeatherReady (up-to-date, expert seasonal advice from carefully selected organisations to help you prepare for and respond to the weather, to stay safe and protect yourself, your homes and businesses)
- Met Office - 10 things you should do now to prepare for summer (simple steps that you can take to stay safe and healthy this summer, from preparing your home or business, to taking care of yourself, your family and your neighbours)