Keeping cool in hot weather

All local authorities in England have a responsibility to prepare for, alert people to, and prevent health problems caused by heatwaves.

Who is at risk?

The heat can affect anyone, but some people may be more at risk, including:

  • older people, especially those over 75
  • babies and young children
  • people with a serious chronic condition, particularly dementia, heart, breathing or mobility problems
  • people with serious mental health problems
  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control (for example diuretics, antihistamines, beta-blockers and antipsychotics)
  • people who are already ill and dehydrated (for example from gastroenteritis)
  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs
  • people who are physically active (for example soldiers, athletes, hikers and manual workers)
  • homeless people

Watch out for signs of dehydration and heat exhaustion.

What can you do?

A few simple steps can help protect yourself and others during hot weather.

Watch our heatwave advice video for parents.

Make sure that you and your friends and neighbours are ready and equipped for a heatwave. check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves and make sure they have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medication they need.

The links below provide further advice about how to protect yourself and others:

If you need medical assistance and it's not an emergency call 111 or visit NHS.

What are we doing?

Health and Social Care professionals (PDF, 232KB) identify people they care for who are at high risk, make plans to support them, and will check on them regularly if the weather gets hot.

Care home managers and staff (PDF, 217KB) identify people they care for who are at high risk, make changes to working arrangements and facilities to reduce the risk, and will check on high risk people regularly if the weather gets hot.

The Beat the Heat: care home checklist (PDF, 268KB) is used by care home staff to identify situations where overheating may cause harm to health, actions to take, and where to get help and support.

Teachers and child care workers (PDF, 48KB) take steps to protect children outdoors and indoors during periods of high temperatures and can recognise the warning signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Watch our video to see how children's centres are keeping children safe in the heatwave.