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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Big plans for keeping our communities safe

Heatwave advice

emergency advice

A heatwave can cause your body to become dehydrated and overheat, leading to exhaustion or heatstroke. Following the advice identified here should help you look after yourself and others during hot weather.


What is a heatwave and how is it declared?

An average temperature of 30°C by day and 15°C overnight would trigger a health alert. These temperatures can have a significant effect on people’s health if they last for at least two days and the night in between. The Met Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely.


Tips for coping with heatwaves

  • Try and stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • If you do go out in the heat, wear UV sunglasses to reduce UV exposure to the eyes
  • Apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion
  • Have plenty of cold drinks and eat cold foods - particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • Keep your environment cool - especially for infants and older people Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped - although be aware of security issues especially at night in ground floor rooms
  • 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
  • Look out for others; keep and eye on isolated, older people, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool. Ensure that babies, children and older people are not left alone in stationary cars. Check on older people 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 feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache, move to a cool place as soon as possible. Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate


Further information

The Department of Health and Met Office websites provide further information on heatwaves.

Cancer Research UK gives advice for protecting your skin during hot weather.