Whilst we often look forward to some sunshine, higher temperatures can have an adverse effect on health for some people. Those most vulnerable from heat include children, older people, individuals with chronic conditions (for example, diabetes and asthma) or severe illnesses. Certain medications can also impact on an individual’s ability to adapt to the heat.
When the temperature is high the key messages are to:
- try to keep out of the sun during the hottest times of the day when UV rays are strongest
- remember to keep drinking plenty of fluids and keep your water bottle with you - you should be drinking cool drinks before you start to feel thirsty
- if you need to go out in the heat, stay in the shade as much as possible and wear loose-fitting, light coloured clothing if your role allows
- wear a suitable hat and sunglasses to reduce exposure to the face, eyes, head and neck
- sunscreen shouldn’t be used to spend longer in the sun, but it’s important for helping to protect the parts of the body not covered by clothing or shade - use broad spectrum sunscreens with a high SPF factor
- keep curtains or blinds closed, especially in rooms that face the sun - once the temperature outside has dropped lower than the temperature inside, open the windows - this may not be until very late at night or the early hours of the morning so please keep security and personal safety in mind
- look out for vulnerable friends, family members and neighbours who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated
If you work outside then you should already have a risk assessment in place for extreme temperatures and protection from the sun which should be followed.
The health protection team have developed information for settings and organisations including education, care homes, at-risk groups and for those planning events. If you would like a copy of the information, please email email@example.com.
Find out more about beating the heat and staying safe in hot weather.