Whilst most of us welcome hot weather, too much heat can also bring health risks, so the NHS is asking people to take care during the hot weather forecast for this weekend.

People who may only recently have stopped shielding indoors from COVID-19, older people, those with underlying health conditions, and very young children are all more vulnerable to the higher temperatures.

Sarah Scott, director of public health at Gloucestershire County Council, said:

“If you are out in the hot weather, you need to stay safe now more than ever. Our advice is to apply at least SPF 15 suncream, keep cool by relaxing in the shade, cover up with loose clothing and enjoy plenty of cold drinks.”

Sarah Scott added:

“Don’t forget that if you are out and about this weekend, to make sure you following the latest Covid-19 guidelines. Remember to stay two metres apart from anyone outside of your household or social bubble, wash your hands regularly and wear a face covering when needed.”

Dr Hein Le Roux, GP and Deputy Chair at NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“If someone becomes unwell, after being out in the hot weather, we advise getting them somewhere cool to rest and give them plenty of fluids to drink. If they develop symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, dizziness or cramps, which don’t go away, seek emergency medical attention.”

Here are some top tips which we can all consider doing during the hot weather to ensure we enjoy the sun while staying safe:

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol

Everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and older people are particularly vulnerable

  • Stay cool indoors

Open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside; shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight; move to a cooler part of the house, especially for sleeping

  • Check up on older people and those with underlying health conditions

This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19, especially those who have been shielding as they are at high risk of developing severe infection

  • Slow down when it is hot

Exertion heats up our bodies, so plan any strenuous activities (e.g. exercise, gardening) outside the hottest time of the day, typically 11am – 3pm

  • Cool your skin with water

You could use a cool wet sponge or flannel, cool water spray, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or a cool, wet sheet

  • Apply sunscreen regularly if you do go outdoors
  • Stay connected and listen to the weather forecast

Knowing the forecast can help you plan ahead and adapt what you’re doing

  • Dress appropriately for the weather

Protect yourself against the sun’s radiation and keep yourself cool by wearing thin cotton clothes

  • Eat smaller meals, more often

Cold salads and fruit are the perfect summer foods