Suffering in hot weather and worried about your health?
Follow advice from our Network to protect yourself and those around you when temperatures rise.
Stay out of the heat
- Avoid going outside and doing strenuous activity during the hottest time of day.
- Stay in the shade. Remember that reported temperatures are measured in the shade, and it can be 10-15˚C hotter in the sun.
- Spend 2–3 hours of the day in a cool place.
- Be aware of the risk of drowning. Never swim alone.
Keep your home cool
- Use the night air to cool down your home by opening windows after dark.
- During the day, close windows and cover them with blinds or shutters to block sunlight. Turn off as many electrical devices as possible.
- Use electric fans only when temperatures are below 40˚C / 104˚F. In temperatures above 40˚C / 104˚F fans will heat the body.
- If using Air Conditioning, set the thermostat to 27˚C / 81˚F and turn on an electric fan – this will make the room feel 4˚C cooler.
- Remember that it may be cooler outdoors in the shade.
Learn more: Heat at home
Keep your body cool and hydrated
- Use light and loose-fitting clothing and bed linens
- Take cool showers or baths
- Wet your skin using a damp cloth, spray, or wet clothing
- Drink water regularly (1 cup of water per hour and at least 2-3 litres per day).
- Regularly check in with vulnerable people in your circle – especially people over 65 years old and those with heart, lung, or kidney conditions, a disability, and living alone.
Learn more: Heat in the Body
Protect infants and children
- Never leave children or animals in parked vehicles for any amount of time, as temperatures can quickly become dangerously high.
- Avoid direct exposure to the sun during peak hours, seeking shade or staying indoors instead.
- Never cover an infant stroller / pram with dry fabric – this makes it hotter inside the carriage. Instead, use a wet, thin cloth and re-wet as necessary to lower the temperature. Combine with a portable fan for even greater cooling.
- Dress children in lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that covers their skin, and use wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect them from the sun’s rays.
- Follow the guidance on keeping your home cool to maintain a safe indoor temperature
What to do if you see signs of heat stroke
Heatstroke is a potentially fatal medical emergency. Seek medical attention immediately if you or others feel faint, dizzy, or nauseous, stop sweating, or lose consciousness.
It’s crucial to take heatstroke seriously and act quickly, as delays can lead to severe complications or even death.
1. Call for Emergency Medical Help
Dial emergency services immediately to get professional medical assistance on the way before doing anything else.
2. Aggressive cooling
Use any available means to cool the person down while waiting for medical help. Move the person to a shady or air-conditioned location immediately and apply cold, wet cloths or towels to their body. Use ice packs and fans if available. Loosen or remove any unnecessary clothing to help the person cool down.
3. Monitor until help arrives
Keep a close eye on the person’s condition while waiting for medical assistance. Look for signs of improvement or deterioration.
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