Keeping cool in a heatwave

Who doesn’t look forward to a lovely summer? Even if the great British summer isn’t always reliable! High temperatures and humidity can present a risk to your health, especially for older people. Here are some tips to help you stay safe in the heat.

Out and about?

  • Try not to spend too much time outside, especially at the hottest part of the day (between 11am – 3pm) when the sun is strongest. It’s also best to try and keep in the shade when you can.
  • It’s a good idea to carry a bottle of water with you when you’re out and about, it’s important to keep hydrated.
  • Look out for hot weather warnings, this means you won’t be caught out by unseasonably warm weather.
  • Don’t burn! Use a sun cream of at least SPF15 and apply it regularly. Make sure you don’t miss a spot when you’re applying sun scream, it can be easy to miss bald patches or the back of your neck.
  • Be careful even if it’s not sunny. UV levels can still be high when it’s cloudy.

Keeping cool at home

Keep the blinds closed, especially in rooms you’re not using. If it’s cooler inside that out, keep the windows closed, too.

A damp cloth or splashing some water on the back of your neck can be better at cooling you down than a fan.

Light-coloured, lightweight cotton clothing keeps you cooler.

Check how you’re storing your medication. Most should be kept below 25°C, it might be best to pop them in the fridge when it’s really hot.

Drink plenty to avoid dehydration. A good idea is to keep an eye on the colour of your urine, as waiting until you’re thirsty isn’t always a reliable reminder. The darker your urine colour the more dehydrated you are, you should aim for a light straw colour.

Try and eat something, even if you’re not feeling very hungry.

Be careful

Watch out for signs of dehydration. These can include – feeling confused, cramps, dark urine and feeling weak. You don’t have to feel thirsty to be dehydrated.

Watch out for heat exhaustion. The symptoms include headaches, dizziness, nasuea and a fast pulse. If you don’t feel well, lie down in a cool room and drink plenty of water. It can help to splash some water on your face and neck.

Heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke. Symptoms can include falling unconcious and seizures. Call 999 if you think you or someone else might have heatstroke.

If you know it’s going to be particularly hot, and you think you might struggle, as someone to check on you.