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Staying safe during hot weather

18 May 2011

Ice lolliesForecasters are predicting the hottest May on record, and with soaring temperatures expected from this weekend, we give you a few tips on staying safe in the heat.

Although cooler conditions are predicted for this week, by Saturday forecasters believe temperatures will rise and 29C will be the average for the next two weeks.

Although most of us welcome warm weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for:

  • The elderly. 
  • The very young. 
  • People with chronic or long-term medical conditions.

Be prepared in case the weather stays hot:

  • Listen to the weather forecast on the TV or radio.
  • If you’re planning to travel, check the forecast at your destination too. 
  • Plan ahead: stock up with supplies so that you don’t need to go out during extreme heat and think about what medicines, food and non-alcoholic drinks you’ll need.
  • Keep plenty of water to hand and stay in the shade whenever possible.
  • Identify the coolest room in the house, so you can go there to keep cool.


  • Enjoy the weather but try to stay cool.
  • Don’t go outside between 11am and 3pm as this is the hottest part of the day.
  • Spend time in the shade and avoid strenuous activity. 
  • Always wear sun protection.
  • Help others: check up on neighbours, relatives and friends who may be less able to look after themselves (for example, if they have mobility problems). 
  • Drink water or fruit juice regularly.
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol, and if you do drink alcohol make sure you have lots of water or other non-alcoholic drinks as well. 
  • Keep rooms cool by using shade or reflective material external to the glass, or if that is not possible, by closing light-coloured curtains (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).
  • Keep the windows closed while the room is cooler than it is outside and, if it’s safe, open windows at night when the air is cooler.
  • People with heart problems, breathing difficulties or serious illnesses may find their symptoms become worse in hot weather, so make sure you have enough medicines in stock and take extra care to keep cool.

For more advice, visit NHS Choices.

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