SEASONAL HEALTH

Staying well in hot weather

Stay well when it’s hot by:

  • avoiding the midday sun
  • having plenty of cold drinks (but not alcohol or drinks with lots of caffeine such as cola, coffee or tea)
  • putting on lots of sunscreen

During heatwaves, when it’s really hot, day and night, it’s particularly important to keep cool. Babies and infants, older people and those with heart, breathing and other serious health problems are more likely to fall ill. If you’ve got a neighbour or friend who might be at risk, check that they’re alright.

The Met Office warns of heatwaves – so check weather reports on your TV, radio, smartphone and online.

Heatwave tips include:

  • applying a damp cloth or scarf to the back of your neck or splashing your face and the back of your neck with cold water several times a day
  • staying indoors in the coolest room in your home
  • reducing sunlight coming through the windows, for example with shutters. Metal blinds and dark curtains absorb heat and can make the room warmer, so it is better to use light-coloured curtains or reflective material
  • keeping windows closed when the room is cooler than outside
  • opening windows when the temperature inside rises and keeping them open at night to let cooler air in
  • having plenty of cold drinks
  • avoiding alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.

Take care with food during hot weather. Bacteria multiply quickly, which increases the risk of food poisoning. Make sure that fresh food is kept in the fridge or, if away from home, in cool bags. As in any weather, wash salad and raw foods thoroughly.

If you have a barbecue, make sure that food is cooked all the way through. The Food Standards Agency has advice on cooking a safe barbecue.