We know that exploring the outdoors and connecting with others can be really beneficial for our mental health and wellbeing, but with hotter weather hitting the UK in the coming days, it’s important to make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.
Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it’s too hot for too long, there are health risks involved.
Why is a heatwave a problem?
The main risks posed by a heatwave are:
- not drinking enough water (dehydration)
- overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
- heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Tips for coping in hot weather
- look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
- stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
- close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
- if going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately
- drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
- 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
- walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
- avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
- make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
- if you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice
If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke.