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Heat safety tips

15 June 2021

During very hot weather, Richmond Council is urging people to take extra care of themselves and look out for anyone who may be more at risk from the effects of the heat.

Everybody is affected by high temperatures differently, but certain factors increase an individual's risk to experiencing poor health, heat exhaustion and heatstroke during a heatwave. These include:

  • Older age: especially those over 75 years old, or those living on their own and who are socially isolated
  • People with chronic and severe illness
  • Inability to adapt behaviour to keep cool for example, babies, young children, disabled people, those with Alzheimer's, those who have consumed too much alcohol
  • Environment factors and over exposure: people living in a top floor flat, being homeless, activities and jobs that are in hot places or outdoors

If you are concerned about an adult, you can call the Richmond Council Access Team on 020 8891 7971 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).

Advice for being safe in the heat includes:

  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm generally
  • When you are out and about:
    • Wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes
    • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection
    • Wear a wide brimmed hat and light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn
  • Drink lots of cool drinks and when travelling ensure you take water with you. Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially older people, infants, young children or animals
  • If medicines are sensitive to temperature, it may be worth keeping them in the fridge
  • Children should not take part in vigorous physical activity on very hot days, such as when temperatures are above 30°C
  • Take early action - seek advice from your local pharmacy if you have a long-term health condition and are starting to feel unwell before it gets more serious

Remember that while coronavirus restrictions are in place, you will need to follow government guidance to use public spaces safely.

For more information visit NHS.

Heat exhaustion is not usually serious, if you or the person you are with cools down within 30 minutes. However, heat stroke needs to be treated as an emergency and requires urgent medical attention.

Find more information about heat exhaustion and heat stroke, including signs and symptoms, prevention and treatment.

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Up to: June 2021

Updated: 15 June 2021