top tips for how to keep cool in hot weather

8. Know the risks


The heat can have a serious effect on your physical health, and especially during a heatwave, it’s important to look out for signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion. Many people believe that heat exhaustion and heatstroke are the same things, but heatstroke is potentially far more serious.

Heat exhaustion is caused when the body loses excess water, salt, and sugars through sweating. It can be treated by having plenty to drink, keeping out of the sun, and knowing how to cool down.

Heat stroke occurs when the body’s temperature becomes dangerously high and the body is no longer able to cool itself. Symptoms include confusion, headache, nausea, and muscle cramps.

Another symptom is paler skin than normal – depending on your skin tone this could mean your skin looks ashen, grey, or a more yellowish hue. It might be easier to notice this change in colour on the palms of hands, nails, or eyes, gums, and tongue.

Heatstroke can develop with little warning and quickly lead to a person becoming unresponsive. It’s vital to cool them down as quickly as possible by wrapping them in a wet sheet of clothing and dialing 999.

Babies and children are more vulnerable to increasing temperatures, so stay informed and follow our guidance on how to keep a baby cool in the heat.


Learn first aid advice for someone with heatstroke or heat exhaustion with our online resources.



Staying cool and safe in a heatwave

The UK is getting hotter and as a result of climate change, heatwaves are becoming more frequent and extreme. Hot weather puts people’s health and wellbeing at risk and knowing how to keep cool in a heatwave is essential. Make sure you’re prepared to cope with hot weather with our heatwave advice.

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