How to cope in hot weather

Most of us welcome sunny weather but hot weather can bring health risks for some people.  If a heat wave hits this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know.

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 health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • Stay cool indoors - many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  • 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, keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines
  • 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
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice
  • Remember that while coronavirus restrictions are in place, you will need to follow government guidance to use public spaces safely

Useful links to more information

  • NHS: Heatwave - how to cope in hot weather (who is most at risk, tips, and what signs to watch out for with heat related illness)
  • Met Office: Met Office information: Weather ready (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).