A guide to staying cool during hot weather

Enjoying the sunshine on a break from work Photo: PA

During periods of prolonged hot weather, the heat can provide health risks to everyone, but in particular elderly, very young and ill people.

Very hot weather can lead to breathing difficulties and can worsen heart and breathing problems.

Cumbria County Council has teamed up with a doctor from NHS Cumbria's Clinical Commissioning Group to encourage people to stay safe as temperatures continue to rise.

Below are some top tips on staying cool:

  • Try to 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
  • Avoid physical exertion
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Drink plenty of cold drinks
  • If you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
  • Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • When at home, try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day and overnight when safe to do so
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat

"Speak to you’re your GP or a pharmacist if you are worried about your health during hot weather, especially if you are taking medication, if you feel unwell or have any unusual symptoms.

“Symptoms that may mean you have had too much sun include cramp in your arms, legs or stomach, feelings of mild confusion, weakness or problems sleeping.

“If you have these symptoms, rest for several hours, keep cool and drink water or fruit juice. “Seek medical advice if they get worse or don’t go away.”

– Dr Hugh Reeve, Chair, NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group