Stay safe in the heat this summer

Residents across south west London are being urged to take care of themselves and look out for young children, babies, older people and those with health conditions who may be at risk during the hot weather.

The main risks are dehydration from not drinking enough water, overheating – which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing, and heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

The hot weather can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems
  • people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports.

Dr Nicola Jones, a GP in south west London and Chair of NHS Wandsworth Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Much of the advice on beating the heat is common sense. But now the hot weather has arrived, it’s important to think about what you can do to protect yourself and your family and friends from heat.

“For some people, such as older people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children, the summer heat can bring real health risks. That’s why we’re urging everyone to keep an eye on those you know who may be at risk this summer. If you’re able, ask if your friends, family or neighbours need any support.”

Top tips for staying safe in the heat

    • look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
    • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
    • drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
    • if you or others feel unwell, get dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst, move to a cool place, drink plenty of water and cool your body down – call NHS 111 for advice if necessary
    • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
    • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
    • take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
    • if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
    • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
    • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
    • take water with you if you are travelling.

For more information please visit visit the NHS website and follow the Met Office on Twitter at  @metoffice.