Hot Weather

Seeing the sun shining is a helps us know that summer is here. Many of us here in the UK enjoy the sunshine, but long periods of high temperature can be risky, especially to babies and young children, those with long term medical conditions, and older people. It is important to take steps to stay well and stay as cool as possible if the temperatures rise, and stay safe in and around water.

If you're going away to a foreign country that is hot or might be hot, please consider the below advice, but also make sure you and your family have the right health advice for the country you are going to, including things like vaccinations, and GHIC health insurance.

A UK Health Security Agency infographic on hot weather. In white text on an orange and red background, "The Direct and Indirect Effects of Hot Weather. Increasing temperatures in excess of 25 degrees Celsius are associated with severe illness and excess heat related deaths in vulnerable people. Higher temperatures can affect your health in different ways. Direct effects include dehydration, heat cramps, heat rash, dizziness and fainting, heat exhaustion, heart attacks, heatstroke, and increased risk of lung illnesses and other diseases. Indirect effects include increased demand on healthcare services, power outages, affecting homes and healthcare services, and wildfires, and by association smoke inhalation.

Tips for coping in hot weather

  • Stay as cool as possible. Keep out of sun and wear light clothing. Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.
  • If you do need to go outside, try and avoid the hottest parts of the day. These are usually between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and other drinks and avoiding alcohol.  Drink cold drinks regularly such as water and diluted fruit juice.  Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola), and drinks high in sugar.
  • Stay protected by wearing UV sunglasses and a hat. Apply sunscreen with a high SPF rating and UVA protection and walk in the shade if you can.
  • Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it's safe, open them for cool air when it is cooler.
  • Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.
  • Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool and when you need to keep cool. 
  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
  • Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.

Water Safety

Heading to the coast or out on the water is a great way to have fun and stay active in hot weather. But, if you're not careful, it's a lot easier to get into trouble in the water than you might think. Conditions can change quickly and if you're not prepared, you can easily get caught out.

The video below explains how to apply suncream, and how much to use.

Further Information

NHS Choices

Beat the heat checklist

Beat the heat leaflet

Beat the heat poster

Met Office Hot Weather Tips

If there is a heatwave this summer, make sure the hot weather doesn't harm you or anyone you know. The NHS website has some helpful links on some of the risks of a heatwave.

Where should you seek help?

If you feel unwell in the hot weather please seek advice if concerned. 

Page last updated on: 17th June 2024