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Keeping cool over summer – tips to avoid overheating

With sunnier, summer days ahead, we know that everyone is looking forward to enjoying the best of what summer has to offer. However, as the temperatures rise, it’s important to keep yourself and others cool to avoid overheating.

Some of the most vulnerable people to higher temperatures and heatwaves are older people (especially those over 75), younger people who can’t take care of themselves (such as babies), those who have a serious or long-term illness, and those who live alone.

So, whether you’re working outside in the heat, enjoying a day off in the sun or are feeling warm in your home, here are our top tips for keeping cool over summer.

The essentials

In hot weather, it’s easy to become dehydrated if you don’t drink enough water. Make sure you always have a water bottle with you and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.

Wear appropriate clothing for the weather, such as light, loose-fitting clothes that help to keep you cool. If you’re sitting in a sunny area, make sure to wear a wide-brimmed hat as well.

And if you’re going outside, remember to apply sunscreen regularly! This won’t keep you cool, but it will protect your skin from harsh UV rays.

Cooling down your home

  • Use a thermometer: place a thermometer in your living room and bedroom (or rooms where you spend most of your time in) to keep an eye on the temperature.
  • Close the curtains: in any rooms that directly face the sun, close the curtains to keep your space cool.
  • Turn off non-essential lights and electricals: electrical lights and appliances generate heat, so turn them off when they aren’t in use (such as your TV).

Keeping cool outdoors

  • Keep out of the sun between 11AM and 3PM: this is around the hottest part of the day, and you should avoid going in direct sunlight during this time.
  • Avoid exercising in especially warm weather: exercising in warm weather will exhaust you quicker, so we recommend exercising during a cooler part of the day or doing exercise that won’t overheat you, such as swimming.
  • Keep to the shade: you’ll still be able to enjoy the warm weather from the shade, where you can avoid direct sunlight and overheating.

We advise looking out for those who you think may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated in the warm weather, such as your older relatives or neighbours.

To learn the signs of overheating as well as what to do next, read through the NHS’ article on ‘Heat exhaustion and heat stroke’.