Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long, there are health risks. If hot weather hits this summer, make sure it does not harm you or anyone you know.

The main risks posed by hot weather or a heatwave are: 

  • Look out for those who may struggle to keep themselves cool and hydrated - older people, those with underlying health conditions and those who live alone are particularly at risk
  • Stay cool indoors – many of us will need to stay safe at home this summer so know how to keep your home cool
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun - to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • If going outdoors, use cool spaces considerately - keep your distance in line with social distancing guidelines
  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle - especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen regularly - wear a wide brimmed hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid exercising in the hottest parts of the day
  • Make sure you take water with you, if you are travelling
  • If you are going into open water to cool down, take care and follow local safety advice

Looking for more information and tips on how to cope during a heatwave? Click here

Sunburn increases your risk of skin cancer. Sunburn does not just happen on holiday. You can burn in the UK, even when it's cloudy. There's no safe or healthy way to get a tan. A tan does not protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects.

Aim to strike a balance between protecting yourself from the sun and getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.

Sun safety tips

Spend time in the shade when the sun is strongest. In the UK, this is between 11am and 3pm from March to October.

Make sure you:

  • spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • make sure you never burn
  • cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
  • take extra care with children
  • use at least factor 30 sunscreen

Looking for more information and tips on sun safety? Click here

Public Health England, Department of Health and Social Care, and NHS England have produced the following guidance:

Advice for health and social care staff

This heatwave plan includes advice for health and social care staff on how to support vulnerable people during warm weather. 

Advice for care home managers 

This heatwave plan includes advice for care home managers and staff on how to support vulnerable people during warm weather. 

Beat the Heat checklist

Download this checklist on how to keep residents safe and well during a heatwave.