Published on Jul 13, 2022
England is currently facing a heatwave and temperatures are set to soar this weekend. Make sure you know how to cope in the hot weather.
Most of us enjoy some hot weather but when temperatures stay hot for too long there are health risks. In England, there are on average 2000 heat related deaths each year. Knowing how to look after yourself and those around you will make sure it does not harm you or someone you know.
The main risks of a heatwave are dehydration (not drinking enough water), overheating and heat exhaustion/ heatstroke. Anyone can be at risk of these but older people, people with a long-term illness, babies/ children and those who live on their own are most vulnerable.
Staying cool indoors can help, so keeping your home cool is important and can be done by closing curtains in rooms that face the sun. Outdoors may be cooler than indoors, so spend your time wherever you feel the coolest. Planning ahead for the heat and keeping up to date with the weather forecast can help you to avoid making plans for the hottest days. If you can, stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm when the sun is at its strongest. It isn’t always avoidable to stay out of the heat but staying in the shade, applying regular sunscreen and wearing a wide brimmed hat will help to keep you and those you care for as safe as possible.
Drinking plenty of water and avoiding excess alcohol is essential to stop you from becoming dehydrated. Avoiding exercising in the hottest parts of the day is also best. If you need to travel, remember to take water with you and never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children, or animals.
It’s vital to keep babies cool in the hot weather and the Lullaby Trust have lots of useful tips. Keeping them out of the sun, reducing the layers of clothing they wear, and monitoring room temperature are some of the steps you can take to help keep your little one safe. Find out more on the Lullaby Trust website.
If you or someone you know or care for feels unwell with a high temperature during hot weather, it may be heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Find out what to look out for and when to get help.
If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice. Visit the Humberside Fire and Rescue dedicated page for water safety and drowning prevention.
Mr Geoff Barnes, Deputy Director of Public Health for North East Lincolnshire Council said “We know that for many people, the hot weather is welcome and we want people to enjoy it safely. Knowing how to keep yourself and those you care for cool, hydrated and safe is going to be essential as temperatures rise at the weekend. Please follow the advice and help us by checking in on elderly relatives, neighbours, or anyone you think may be vulnerable to the extreme heat.”