Overheating: How to cope in hot weather

Advice

09.05.18

We may be in the midst of an unpredictable spring at the moment, but it's important to know how to handle any extreme shifts in temperature.

Bright sun in the sky

Due to changes in our climate, we can expect more unusually hot summers and more frequent intense heatwaves in the future.

Though most instances of overheating will occur in the South East and the South West of England, we still expect to experience these to a lesser degree in the northern regions of England.

Below, we have compiled some information and top tips that can help our residents avoid the health risks of overheating this summer.

What are the main risks of overheating?

  • Dehydration (not having enough water)
  • Overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing
  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heatstroke.

Who is most affected?

With more people living in towns and cities and an ageing population, high numbers of the population are expected to be affected by heat-related ill health in the future because of uncomfortably high temperatures.

If you, someone you know, belong to one of the following groups, you may need to take extra care:

  • Older people, especially those over 75
  • Infants and young children
  • People with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • People with mobility problems
  • People with serious mental health problems
  • People on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • People who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • People who are physically active - for example, labourers or those doing sports
  • People who are socially isolated
  • People who live in urban environments.

 

Some of these groups are often less physically able to acclimatise or adapt to keep cool at home when external temperatures rise.

Top tips

Stay informed

The Meteorological Office has a warning system that issues alerts if a heatwave is likely, so keep an eye out for these by staying tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or on the Met Office website.

 

Keep hydrated

Drink cold drinks regularly such as water or fruit juice even if you don't feel particularly thirsty. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.

 

Avoid the heat

Stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.

Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors. Sunglasses and sun cream are also advisable to wear.

 

At home

Close your blinds/curtains when it is hotter outside. Light coloured blinds/curtains are most effective.

If it's safe, open your windows for ventilation. The flow of outside air through your home is very effective at making it feel more comfortable.

Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.

Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.

 

Be prepared

Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.

 

Be aware

Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

 

Look for warning signs

Headache, nausea, and dizziness are signs that the body isn't handling the heat well. If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest. Give them plenty of fluids to drink.
Seek medical help if symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness, dizziness or cramps get worse or don't go away.

 

For more information about how to avoid overheating during a heatwave visit the NHS website

This site uses cookies to help make it more useful and reliable. Our cookies page explains what they are, which ones we use, and how you can manage or remove them. read more