Advice for hot weather and heatwaves

The elderly or those with chronic illnesses can be at risk of being affected by the hot temperatures, so it is important to make sure that they are well protected by staying in the shade, using sun cream and drinking plenty of fluids. Look out for others who might be vulnerable in warmer weather.

In hotter temperatures, it can become uncomfortable indoors too. Try to keep your bedroom and living space cool, by closing the curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening your windows at cooler times of the day when safe to do so.

Whether on holiday or at home – people can protect themselves by following the Sun Smart messages:

  • Spend time in the shade between 11am to 3pm
  • Make sure you never burn by taking sensible precautions
  • Aim to cover up with a t-shirt, wide brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Remember to take extra care with children
  • Then use a factor 15 plus sunscreen

Anyone taking medication should also consider keeping them in the fridge as many should be stored in below 25 degrees Celsius.

Children and babies in particular are vulnerable to hot temperatures, so it is important to make sure that they are well protected by using sun cream and wearing summer hats. Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals.

People should also think about food safety, as the number of cases of food poisoning doubles over the summer due to undercooked meat and the spreading of germs from raw to cooked food when using the barbecue. To prevent illness caused by these germs, which include salmonella and E. coli, you could initially cook your food, thoroughly, using an oven and then transfer it to the barbecue for flavour.

Another problem during summer is the increase in pollution levels - this can cause difficulties for people who suffer form asthma or other respiratory conditions. People affected need to monitor all their symptoms regularly, keep an inhaler to relieve symptoms handy, and look out for media announcements on air quality.
For more information about summer health, visit

Hot weather during Ramadan

During hot weather, dehydration is a common and serious risk during Ramadan. It is important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water.

The advice for those fasting during Ramadan is:

  • if you start to feel unwell, disoriented or confused, or collapse or faint, advice is to stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. This is especially important for older adults and those with medical conditions
  • the Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed breaking fast in such conditions is allowable under Islamic law
  • make sure to check on others in the community who may be at greater risk including children to ensure they are having a safe and healthy Ramadan
  • further guidance guidance has been produced in association with the NHS in the guide to healthy fasting in Ramadan

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