How to stay cool during the summer

Summer has finally begun and we couldn’t be happier about it. At last we have some warm sunrays on our faces and the option of spending more time enjoying the outdoors. But there is also a hidden danger during the summer as heatwaves can cause us many health problems. Here are a few tips to help you cope with the extremely hot temperatures that have been forecasted and protect yourself from the health risks associated with hot weather.

Remember that a heatwave can affect anyone but there are certain age groups that are more at risk. Older people, especially those over 75, and people caring for babies and young children should take special care when temperatures begin to rise.

Cover up

The most effective way to stay cool in the heat and the sun is actually keeping covered. Use fabrics such as natural fibres and make sure they are very loose and flowing. An added benefit of this is that it protects your skin from the sun.

Be sure to wear a sun hat and plenty of sunscreen too.

Keep hydrated

It’s important to keep hydrated when spending a lot of time in the heat or when temperatures get too hot. Drink cold drinks at regular intervals, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid drinks like alcohol, caffeine or drinks high in sugar. Eat foods that contain a lot of healthy substances and fruit, such as watermelon, which contains a large amount of liquid in each portion to help you stay hydrated.

For any more information, please go to our nutrition page.

Lie on the floor

Heat rises, so if you are in need of a quick remedy to too much heat, or you think you or someone around you is suffering from heat stroke, lay on the floor for a moment to cool down. Your body will thank you as it won’t be as affected by the heat as if you were standing.

Look out for yourself and others

Heatwaves are categorised using alert levels in Britain. There are 4 levels, the highest being the fourth, which is the code for a severe heatwave. It is raised when a heatwave is severe or prolonged and is also considered an emergency situation.

At level four, the health risks from a heatwave can affect fit and healthy people and not just those who are at a higher risk.

Keep an eye out for anyone who might struggle during a heatwave and take note of the following symptoms:

  • Breathlessness
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion
  • Intense thirst
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Cramps

If you do see somebody displaying these symptoms or if you are feeling unwell, you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 for help.

If you have any older neighbours, it could be a good idea to check on them when the temperature gets to extreme highs and ask if they need anything. If you need any further advice or help be sure to contact your local environmental health office at your local authority, or please click here for more information from Age UK.