Stay safe in the heat

Clinical leaders in Bradford, Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven are urging people to stay safe in the heat as summer temperatures continue to climb.

Dr Andy Withers, clinical chair of NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “When thinking about laid back, sunny days, it’s easy to switch off to messages about health risks, but there’s a real chance that you or someone you know could be negatively affected by the heat.

“Children and babies, older people and those with long term health conditions – especially heart and breathing problems – are particularly at risk, so knowing how to keep cool and manage health conditions during hot weather can save lives.”

The main risks are:

  • dehydration

  • overheating, which can make symptoms worse for people who already have problems with their heart or breathing

  • heat exhaustion and heat stroke

  • sunburn


Those most likely to be affected are:

  • older people, especially over 75

  • babies and young children

  • people with a serious condition, especially heart or breathing problems

  • people with mobility problems, eg those with Parkinson’s disease or who have had a stroke

  • people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control

  • people who misuse alcohol or drugs

  • people who are physically active – at work or leisure

  • people who are fasting during Ramadan.


To stay cool and reduce health risks:

  • stay out of direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm (hottest part of the day). Use a sunscreen with a high protection factor

  • have cool baths or showers or splash yourself with cool water. Placing your wrists under cool running water can help

  • drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol

  • wear loose, cool clothing and a hat outdoors

  • check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves

  • during Ramadan, when people are fasting, it’s important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and drink enough water.


If someone feels unwell, get them somewhere cool to rest and give them plenty of water to drink. Seek medical help is symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, confusion, weakness or dizziness don’t go away.

More information is available at www.nhs.uk and you can call NHS 111 for further advice