Keeping cool in Summer
During the summer the warm weather is enjoyable for most of us, but the heat can sometimes become very uncomfortable. For children, older people, or people with chronic health conditions, the hot weather can be dangerous and potentially fatal.
The NHS has produced a guide that provides advice on how to cope with high temperatures called Looking after yourself and others during hot weather. We have summarised the main points of this guide in this section.
What to do to stay cool
If a heatwave is forecast the hottest part of the day between 11am and 3pm. Keep cool and:
- stay out of the sun
- avoid strenuous activity, such as gardening or carrying heavy shopping bag
- stay in the shade
- wear a high factor sunscreen, a hat and loose-fitting clothes
- drink water regularly
- avoid tea, coffee and alcohol. It is important to drink even if you don’t feel thirsty to avoid dehydration
- take cool showers or baths to stop your body temperature from getting too high, or splash yourself with cold water
- eat as normal. Cold foods such as salad and fruit help
When indoors you can stay cool by:
- closing your curtains to keep some of the heat out
- keeping windows closed when the room is cool. Open them when it gets hotter and at night for ventilation
- opening your loft hatch to help cool your house
- staying in the coolest rooms in the house
What is Heat Exhaustion?
If your body becomes overheated and dehydrated you may suffer from heat exhaustion. Symptoms include:
- nausea and vomiting
- muscle weakness or cramps
- pale skin
- and a high temperature
If you experience any of these symptoms you should move somewhere cool, drink plenty of water, and take a lukewarm shower if possible.
If heat exhaustion is not recognised and treated, it could lead to heatstroke, which can be fatal.
Other Useful Information
- Age UK’s guide Staying cool in a heatwave
Other Useful Organisations
- NHS 111 is a free telephone service open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, where you can get medical help and advice quickly. It’s available when you can’t get to the doctor or don’t know where to seek help. In a medical emergency always call 999.
- NHS.UK is a website providing health and medical advice, an online symptom checker and a facility for searching for services near you.
Please note – The content on this website is provided for general information only, and should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional. If you are feeling unwell, make an appointment to see your GP or contact NHS 111. In an emergency, dial 999.
Last updated: July 24, 2019