News » Stay safe in the summer heat

Glass of water and cool towel in from of fan. Hot day concept.

Stay safe in the summer heat

All reports suggest this summer is going to be very hot. The heat can be very dangerous – especially for older people and people who are in poor health.

But there are some easy ways you can stay safe.

Stay inside and keep your home cool

If you have air conditioning or a fan, use it. Close your curtains and blinds when the sun is hot and bright and keep windows and doors shut, to stop your home heating up. This will make your air conditioning and fans most effective too and will save you money.

If you can’t cool your home, you can go to a local community centre, such as a library or neighbourhood house on the hot days.

Travel at cooler times of the day

Sometimes you will have to leave the house to do your shopping or go to events. Try not to travel in the heat of the day, but instead alter your routine so you can leave earlier in the day and return home at dusk, when it might be a bit cooler.

Take it slow. Don’t rush and rest in the shade when you need to.

Close up of arm rubbing in sunscreen

Wear sunscreen

Put on sunscreen at least 20 minutes before you go outside. Use a high SPF (sun protection factor) sunscreen and reapply it regularly, as suggested on the package. If you sweat a lot, or swim or take a shower, remember to reapply it more often.

Keep covered with loose fitting clothing

You might want to wear shorts and tshirts in the heat, but you’ll actually stay cooler and better protected from the sun if you cover up. Wear loose fitting long sleeves and trousers made of cool material, like cotton and you will help protect your skin from heating up and burning. Remember, depending on the fabric of your clothes you may still be able to burn through your clothes, so still wear sunscreen! And always slap on a hat and some sunglasses when going outside.

Cool water to cool down

As well as drinking plenty of it, if you get too hot you can cool down with a cool shower or bath. Or if that’s not very easy, use a wet flannel and apply it to your face, neck, under your arms and wrists.

Friend gives older woman bottle of water

Drink water

You will need to drink a lot more water than you usually do, even if you do not feel thirsty– especially if you are going out in the heat. Your body will be losing fluids through sweat, so this is really important. It’s best to sip water throughout the day and make sure it is cool, but not too cold.

Never leave children or pets in the car

Cars can heat up very quickly and unexpectedly. It is very dangerous to leave children or pets alone in cars, even if the window is open. Always take them with you.

Check on others

The frail, elderly or ill are at extra risk in the heat. Check on your friends, family and neighbours who may have difficulty getting out and protecting themselves from the heat. If you think someone is severely unwell due to the heat, get them help immediately.

Person with allergies in park blowing her nose

Protect yourself from pollen

If you have asthma or allergies, you may be at risk of thunderstorm asthma. Make sure to have all your medications on hand and avoid going outside on high pollen days or very windy days. We have a blog just about this, if you want more information!

Check local weather and news updates

The weather can change quickly. Your best protection is to know what is going to happen, so you can be prepared. Listen to local news and weather updates so you can adapt your routine to suit the conditions.


For more advice, make an appointment with your doctor or nurse. In an emergency, call 000.