Summer Health

During the summer months, warmer weather can affect your health in many ways. This page contains information and advice for staying healthy this summer.

Hot Weather and Heatwaves

There are times when we experience heatwave conditions and hot weather in the UK. During these periods, you can do the following to stay safe and keep cool.

Stay out of the heat:

  • Seek shade where possible
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf
  • Avoid extreme physical exertion
  • Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.

Keep cool:

  • Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • Take a cool shower, bath or body wash
  • Sprinkle water over the skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.

Look out for others:

  • Keep an eye on 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 hot weather
  • Be alert and seek advice if someone is unwell or further help is needed.

If you or others feel unwell:

  • Try to get help if you feel dizzy, weak, anxious or have intense thirst and headache; move to a cool place as soon as possible and measure your body temperature;
  • Drink some water or fruit juice to re-hydrate
  • Rest immediately in a cool place if you have painful muscular spasms (particularly in the legs, arms or abdomen, in many cases after sustained exercise during very hot weather), and drink oral rehydration solutions containing electrolytes
  • Medical attention is needed if heat cramps last more than one hour
  • Consult your doctor if you feel unusual symptoms or if symptoms persist.

 

Additional information can also be found in the national Beat the Heat: staying safe in hot weather guidance. 

Staying Safe in the Sun

Throughout the summer don’t forget to ‘slap’ on the sunscreen.  Skin Cancer is directly linked to over exposure of the UV rays from the sun.

The sun can be good for us and help with the production of Vitamin D, which is essential for our health but you should protect your skin before it starts to turn red or burn.

In the UK, the sun’s UV rays are the strongest between 11am and 3pm from early April until late September.  During this time, the sun may be strong enough to damage your skin even on a cloudy day.  Take extra care to protect your skin.  Use at least a factor 15 sunscreen (Preferably factor 30+) and reapply regularly.

Keep safe and enjoy the sun but remember to:

  • Spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm
  • Make sure you never burn
  • Cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses
  • Take extra care with children
  • Use at least a factor 15 sunscreen (preferably factor 30+) with a star rating of at least 4 or 5. 

Useful links: 

Cancer Research UK Website

British Association of Dermatologists' Sun Awareness Information

 

Be ‘Tick Aware’

Ticks are small, spider-like creatures that feed on the blood of animals, including people. The size of the tick can vary, with a larva being as small as a tiny freckle, and full fed females similar in size to a baked bean.

You could be exposed to ticks when outdoors, particularly in longer grass areas. Here are some top tips to avoiding ticks:

  • Walk on clearly defined paths to avoid brushing against vegetation
  • Wear light-coloured clothes so ticks can be spotted and brushed off
  • Use repellents
  • Carry out a tick check.

You should contact your GP or NHS 111 promptly if you begin to feel unwell with flu-like symptoms or develop a spreading circular red rash. Remember to tell them you were bitten by a tick or have recently spent time outdoors.

For more information, download the ‘Be Tick Aware’ leaflet in the downloads and resources section of this page.

 

Water safety

South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has joined up with the RLSS UK to develop a range of education and safety materials, including the development of a dedicated water safety website – www.syfrwater.co.uk.

This website also features a range of information on how to keep you, your friends and your family safe, and also features interactive games for children.

Last updated: 16 May 2022 13:16:43