NHS provide health advice for managing heat

30 July 2019

Article: 53/3007

The National Health Service (NHS) (Scotland) has provided advice to the general public for coping with higher than average summer temperatures  in Scotland. This includes keeping cool when it is hot outside by:

  • drinking plenty of cool fluids and avoiding alcohol and caffeine which can cause dehydration 
  • eating cold foods with high water content such as salads and fruit 
  • taking cool showers, baths or body washes 
  • sprinkling water over skin or clothing, or keeping a damp cloth on the back of your neck 
  • closing curtains on rooms to keep indoor spaces cooler or finding a cool spot outside 
  • avoiding extreme physical exertion

Other advice includes: 

  • looking out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions 
  • ensuring that infants, young children or animals are never left in a parked car 
  • closing curtains on rooms to keep indoor spaces cooler or finding a cool spot outside 
  • wearing light, loose fitting cotton clothes 
  • making sure you take water with you if you are travelling

Additional advice is to either stay out of the sun or keep covered to reduce ultraviolet (UV) radiation damage from the sun that can cause skin cancer. This can be achieved by: 

  • getting into the shade, especially when the sun is at its hottest (11am - 3pm) 
  • wearing a long-sleeved shirt, and a hat with a brim or flap that protects the ears and neck 
  • wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes from damage 
  • using sunscreen of at least SPF (sun protection factor) 15 on any part of the body you can’t cover up and apply it as directed on the label 
  • re-applying sunscreen regularly, and always after being in water

Similar heat health advice was issued by Public Health England (PHE) on 24 July 2019.

Source: NHS Inform, July 2019