Hot weather health advice

The hot weather this week may put some people at risk of heat-related health issues. Sunburn, heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration (not drinking enough water) can occur, and overheating can make symptoms worse for those who already have problems with their heart or breathing.

Tips for keeping cool and well: 

  • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • 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
  • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling. 

If you are unwell due to the heat, call the free NHS 111 number.

Most vulnerable 

The higher temperatures can affect anyone but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • Those at greater risk also include people with:
  • a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke
  • serious mental health problems.
  • People can also have problems if:
  • they are on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • misuse alcohol or drugs
  • they are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports.
  • More information can be found online via NHS Choices. Public Health England has a Beat the Heat leaflet available.