Tips for coping during a heatwave

As the Met Office announces an Amber alert owing to the heatwave, which is in place until this Friday 23rd July in the North West, here are some useful tips to cope in a heatwave.

The main risks posed by a heatwave are: 

  • Staying hydrated - not drinking enough water can lead to dehydration  
  • Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • Heat stroke or exhaustion - if out in the sun for too long, you can overheat 

Remember the following:

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • Stay cool indoors - many of us may 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
  • 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, when the UV rays are strongest
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house during hot weather: evaporation helps cool the air
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, keep it for cooler parts of the day 
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • During warm weather, going for a swim can provide much welcomed relief, take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into open water to cool down

If you or someone else feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms & drink cool drinks or rehydration solutions. Seek medical attention if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist. 

Find out about the signs of exhaustion and heatstroke, and when to get help

For more NHS advice.