Keeping cool in hot weather

Keep cool in Kent. Drink plenty of water. Stay healthy this summer.

It is vital that people think carefully about what they need to do to protect themselves, their family and particularly vulnerable people who might need extra assistance.

Elderly people, those with underlying health conditions and those with young children can all be at particular risk. Remember though, these levels of heat can present risks for all of us so be prepared.

Tips for staying healthy in the sun

Make sure you:

  • look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated. Older people, those with underlying conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • stay cool indoors by closing curtains on rooms that face the sun – remember that it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the UV rays are strongest
  • walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a wide-brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • make sure you take water with you if you are travelling
  • take care and make sure you follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down
  • check medicines can be stored according to the instructions on the packaging.

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

Links to further advice

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

4 icons with advice about what to do in the heat. Water, drink plenty of water with a glass of water. Sunscreen, wear sunscreen above SPF15 and cover up in the sun, showing a tube of SPF15 sun cream. Rest, take rest breaks if you are out and about, showing a chair. Shade, stay in the shade between 11am and 3pm, showing a parasol shade.

In our video, Director of Public Health, Dr Anjan Ghosh, gives some tips and advice on staying safe in hot weather.

Advice on staying safe and healthy in a heatwave - video transcript

We also have a video about how you can keep cool when out in hot weather.

Keep cool in Kent video transcript

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 you can do

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

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.

Watch our video about checking on vulnerable residents during hot weather.

Checking on vulnerable residents in the heat - video transcript

How to save water in hot weather

Heatwaves can lead to pressure on water networks, please use water sparingly and considerately to avoid possible shortages. Read our tips on how to save water.

There are a number of companies supplying water across Kent. For information on your current water service or to report an issue, go to:

What we are doing

  • Health and social care professionals 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 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 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 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.