Keeping cool in a heatwave

It is best for your health to avoid getting too hot in the first place. Remember to think of those who may be more at risk from the effects of heat. 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 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

  • 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, 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.
  • Place a thermometer in your main living room and bedroom to keep a check on the temperature.
  • 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.

For more information and top tips about staying cool in a heatwave, please visit the Health and Wellbeing Surrey website.