Keep cool this summer
A heatwave is when the temperature stays unusually high for more than a couple of days. These high temperatures can make people ill, and for people with certain conditions it can result in death.
Protect yourself from heatwaves
Stay out of the heat:
- Keep out of the sun between 11.00am and 3.00pm.
- Avoid extreme physical exertion.
- Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
- If you have to go out in the heat: walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf.
Cool yourself down:
- Have plenty of cold drinks, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
- Eat cold foods, particularly salads and moist fruit.
- Take a cool shower, bath or body wash.
- Sprinkle water over your skin or clothing, or place a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
Keep your surroundings cool:
- Keep windows and curtains that are in the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
- Think about putting up external shading outside windows.
- Have your loft and cavity walls insulated – they keep the heat out too!
- Use pale, reflective external paints.
- Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment – as they generate heat.
- Grow trees and leafy plants to shadenear windows.
- Keep indoor plants and bowls of water in the house as evaporation helps cool the air.
- If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping.
Look out for others:
- Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.
- Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars.
- Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave.
- Be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed.
For more heatwave information visit the Welsh Assembly Government's heatwave plan for Wales 2009 (external link)