Due to scheduled maintenance, some of our online services will be unavailable on Tuesday 21 January between 8am and 1pm. We apologise for any inconvenience.
Many of us enjoy sunny weather, but extreme heat can seriously damage your health. During a heatwave, when temperatures stay really high day after day, it can sometimes be fatal.
In a severe heatwave you may get dehydrated and your body may overheat. If you already have a heart or respiratory problem, this may make your symptoms worse. Additionally, it can cause heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Keeping yourself cool will reduce the risk of illness. If you start to feel unwell, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
You should move somewhere cool and drink plenty of water or fruit juice. If you can, take a lukewarm shower, or sponge yourself down with cold water.
Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated, but it can also occur suddenly and without warning. Symptoms include:
Heatstroke can result in irreversible damage to your brain and body, and if left untreated it can cause death.
Mostly it's a matter of common sense. Listen to your local weather forecast so you know if a heatwave is on the way. Plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill health from the heat.
Tips for coping in hot weather:
For more information and advice, look at the guidance documents in the Downloads section.