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Sun exposure can be dangerous, leading to heat stroke or sun burn, so while we want you to enjoy the summer we ask that you stay safe by following our tips, below.

If you would like to find out more about staying safe this summer please visit the NHS summer health page.

Check the weather forecast and any high temperature health warnings on the MET Office website.

Please also consider the impact of hot weather on pets - for more information see the RSPCA's Dogs die in hot cars guidance.

Stay out of the heat

  • Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  • 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
  • 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

  • Keep your living space cool. This is important for infants, the elderly or those with chronic health conditions or who can’t look after themselves
  • Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature
  • 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, however, care should be taken with metal blinds and dark curtains, as these can absorb heat – consider replacing or putting reflective material in-between them and the window space
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat
  • Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air
  • If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping
  • Electric fans may provide some relief, if temperatures are below 35 degrees Celsius

Look out for others

  • Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool
  • Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars
  • Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave
  • When children are playing outside ensure they have plenty of sun cream on, at least sun protection factor (SPF) 30, and that they avoid the hottest part of the day 11am-3pm
  • Be alert and seek medical advice if someone is unwell

If you have a health problem

  • Keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator (read the storage instructions on the packaging)
  • Seek medical advice if you are suffering from a chronic medical condition or taking multiple medications

If you or others feel unwell

  • Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature
  • Drink some water or fruit juice to rehydrate
  • Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes.
  • Medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour
  • Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist

Ramadan

If you're observing Ramadam and you start to feel unwell, disoriented or confused, or collapse or faint, advice is to stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid.

This is especially important for older adults, those with poorly controlled medical conditions such as low/high blood pressure, diabetes and those who are receiving dialysis treatment. The Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that breaking fast in such conditions is allowable under Islamic law.

Guidance has been produced to help ensure that members of the Muslim community have a safe and healthy Ramadan – follow the link to read the Healthy Ramadan information on the NHS website.

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