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