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UK heatwave - tips to stay safe

Get ready for the heatwave - tips for staying safe

Did you know that a heatwave will be hitting the UK in the next couple of weeks? Temperatures are set to start increasing next week and we can't wait to get outside enjoy some sunshine!

The sun has lots of great benefits, including increasing and boosting serotonin, which may improve your overall mood.

During the winter months, most of us will be lacking in Vitamin D, which can cause things like fatigue, mood changes, bone weakness and muscle pain. It's much easier to address this during summer, as the sun emits UV light which contains high levels of Vitamin D which can be absorbed into the skin. 

But on the opposite side, the sun (especially in intense heatwaves) can cause lots of health problems such as dehydration, sunburn and even heat stroke if you don't take enough precautions.

We have put together some handy tips for staying safe in the sun.

Stay informed

  • Regularly check weather forecasts from reliable sources to stay updated on heatwave warnings and advisories.
  • Understand the heat index, which combines temperature and humidity, to gauge the actual risk level.

Create a cool environment

  • Ensure your air conditioner is in good working condition. If you don’t have AC, find places that do such as your local church, community centre or library. These will usually be listed on Facebook groups and/or news websites.
  • Use fans to help circulate air, but remember that fans alone aren’t sufficient when the temperature is very high.
  • Use shades, blinds, or curtains to block direct sunlight and keep indoor spaces cooler.
  • Improve home insulation to help maintain indoor temperatures.

Stay hydrated and healthy

  • Increase your water intake, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Avoid alcohol, caffeine and sugary drinks.
  • Consume drinks with electrolytes if you are sweating heavily to replenish lost minerals.
  • Eat smaller, lighter meals more frequently. Avoid heavy, hot foods that can increase your body temperature.

Dress appropriately

  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing to help reflect heat.
  • Use wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses to protect from sun exposure.

Limit sun exposure

  • Stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day, typically from 10am until 4pm.
  • If you need to be outside, stay in the shade as much as possible and take frequent breaks.

Protect vulnerable individuals

  • Regularly check on others, in particular elderly family members, neighbours and others who might be vulnerable to heat.
  • Never leave children or pets in parked cars, even with windows cracked open.

Plan for emergencies

  • Prepare an emergency kit with essentials like water, snacks, medications and a battery-powered fan.
  • Be aware of heat-related illness symptoms, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke, and know how to respond.

Adjust activities

  • Reschedule strenuous activities to cooler times of the day.
  • Take frequent breaks if you must work outside.

Vehicle safety

  • Avoid traveling during peak heat. If you must travel, ensure you plan your route in advance, your car is in top condition and it has plenty of coolant.
  • Always keep a survival kit in your car which should include things like food, water, emergency contacts, sun cream etc.
We hope you find these tips and advise helpful for the upcoming heatwave and don't forget, stay safe and cool!