The heat can be dangerous for certain groups of people such as older people, those with existing medical conditions or very young people.
It is easy to become dehydrated in hot weather as we can soon lose more fluid than we take in, and even people at the peak of physical fitness can become ill if they are not careful. Drink cold non- alcoholic drinks regularly, keep out of the sun during the hottest times of the day between 11am - 3pm, and avoid physical exertion in the heat where possible. People who are older, very young and those with chronic conditions are more at risk, so we urge that you to check on vulnerable friends and neighbours every day during the heatwave.
Birmingham and Solihull Commissioning Group and Public Health Solihull are encouraging people to follow the following tips:
Stay out of the heat:
- Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don’t go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) especially if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- Take a bottle of water with you when out and about and especially when travelling by car or public transport.
- Wear loose, light coloured, cotton clothing, and a hat if you do go outdoors.
- Spend time in the shade and avoid strenuous physical activity.
- Plan ahead so that you don’t have to go out in extreme heat by making sure you have enough supplies, of food, water and any medications you need. Ask a friend or relative to help you stock up if you’re vulnerable to the effects of heat.
- Stay tuned to the weather forecast on the radio or TV, or at the Met Office website.
Cool yourself down:
- Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool (but not very cold) water, or place a damp cloth on the back of your neck to cool down.
- Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice, even if you’re not thirsty. Try to avoid tea, coffee and alcohol.
- Eat normally even though you may not be as hungry - you need a normal diet to replace salt losses from sweating. Try to have more cold foods, such as salads and fruit, as these contain a lot of water.
Keep your environment cool:
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – they generate heat.
- Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.
- Try to sleep in the coolest room too.
- Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it’s safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler.
- Keep rooms cool by keeping curtains closed while it’s hot outside (use light- coloured curtains if possible, as metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter.
- Electric fans may provide some relief, however at temperatures above 35°C they may cause dehydration. The advice is not to aim the fan directly on the body and to have regular drinks.
Look out for others:
- Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves every day during a heatwave. Make sure they have supplies of food, water and their normal medication.
- Ensure that babies, children or older people are not left alone in stationary cars.
Seek advice if you have any concerns:
- 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. Contact your GP if your symptoms become worse.
- Contact your doctor, a pharmacist or NHS 111 if you are worried about your health or someone else’s health during a heatwave, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.
NHS Information on heat exhaustion, heatstroke and dehydration
If you find yourself requiring assistance during the heatwave telephone the helpline:
Winter Warmth Helpline: 0121 704 8080
You can also request a free temperature/information card, packed full of information and tips, to monitor your indoor warmth.