As the hot weather continues it is important that we do all we can to keep cool.

It is best for your health to avoid getting too hot in the first place, below are some tips to keep yourself and others cool and what to do if someone feels unwell:

Stay out of the heat

  • Keep out of the sun between 11.00am and 3.00pm
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion. If you can’t avoid strenuous outdoor activity, like sport, DIY or gardening, keep it for cooler parts of the day, like early morning or evening
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Cool yourself down

  • Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • Take a cool shower, bath or body wash
  • Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.

Keep your environment cool

  • Keeping your living space cool is especially important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or those who can’t look after themselves
  • Keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped
  • Close curtains that receive morning or afternoon sun.

Look out for others by keeping an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool and ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars. Remember to check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heat wave and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell of further help is needed.

If you are worried about your health during a heat wave, especially if you are taking medication, or if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms, seek advice by contacting your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS 111. Remember heatstroke can kill. It can develop very suddenly and rapidly lead to unconsciousness, if you suspect someone has heatstroke call 999 immediately.

For further information about how to protect your health during a heat wave visit NHS Choices at: www.nhs.uk/summerhealth