Heatwave advice

While most people enjoy the sunny weather, very high temperatures are a real health risk for many, especially older people, babies and very young children, and anyone with breathing problems or many other health conditions.

As the temperature rises and a mini-heatwave gets underway, doctors in Bedfordshire are urging people to look out for friends and family who are vulnerable as very hot weather can make heart and breathing conditions worse and can cause dehydration and heatstroke.

Everyone can take some common-sense measures to help stay well despite soaring temperatures.

NHS Bedfordshire Clinical Group offers some top ways for staying safe in the heat:

  • look out for anyone vulnerable to the effects of the heat, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • drink plenty of water – but avoid alcohol which can make you more dehydrated
  • close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • open windows when it feels cooler outside and it’s safe to do so
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun from 11am to 3pm
  • 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.

The BCCG leaflet - Have a Healthy Summer is full of advice on sunburn, insect bites, heatwave, hayfever and first aid. It is available from doctors’ surgeries or the BCCG website.

More information can also be found on NHS Choices and in the Heatwave Plan for England.