Hot weather and extreme heat affects everyone and can be dangerous, especially for vulnerable people. Heatwaves pose the greatest risk because they involve the temperature staying very high for three consecutive days or more.

In England, there are on average 2,000 heat-related deaths every year.  Therefore, it is important that we all take precautions to make sure that our health and the health of others isn’t badly affected by extreme heat.

The most common illnesses caused by heat are:

  • Heat exhaustion
  • Heatstroke
  • Heat rash
  • Sunburn
  • Dizziness and/or fainting

The people most at-risk from heat are:

  • Older people, especially over 75s
  • People who live on their own or in a care home
  • People with a long-term or serious illness
  • Infants
  • People who spend a lot of time outside or in hot places (because of their job or where they live).

The best advice for keeping yourself and others healthy in hot weather is:

  1. Stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  2. Drink plenty of water (at least two litres) and avoid excess alcohol
  3. Stay out of the sun between 11am and 3pm
  4. Be safe and follow local safety advice if you are going to cool down in open water (sea/river/lake)
  5. Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated – older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  6. Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  7. If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately
  8. Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  9. Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly and wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  10. Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  11. Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

Additional information

Please look at the advice and guidance from national organisations that you may find useful. 

NHS Hot Weather Advice

Public Health England’s ‘Beat the Heat’ Advice

Met Office Heat-Health Alerts

Met Office Heat-Health Advice