Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are common during prolonged spells of hot weather. For this reason, the Government has issued health warnings so as to prevent them from occurring. However, it is important to remember that this information is relevant for exposure to sunshine at any time of year. Here are some top tips for keeping cool in hot weather.


Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in hot weather and, if untreated, it can lead to heatstroke, which can be dangerous and even fatal. Symptoms of heat exhaustion can develop rapidly and may include:

  • Skin feeling very hot and flushed
  • Heavy sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Mental confusion
  • Urinating less and urine being much darker in colour than usual


Heatstroke is a medical emergency. Children, the elderly, people with chronic medical conditions are particularly susceptible, but it can affect anyone. You should seek immediate medical assistance if you present any of the symptoms of heatstroke, which include:

  • Elevated body temperature (40ºC /104ºF)
  • Heavy sweating that suddenly stops
  • Over-heating
  • Dehydration
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness and hallucinations

Drinking water and resting in a cool place may alleviate the condition, but, if symptoms persist, you must seek medical help.


Here are some general top tips for keeping cool in hot weather:

  • Keep up-to-date with weather forecast
  • Keep a supply of water at hand (especially if travelling on public transport
  • Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • Wear loose cotton clothing
  • Stay in the shade whenever possible
  • Wear a hat when out in the sun and use a suitable factor sun lotion
  • Avoid going outside during the hottest part of the day (11am to 3pm)
  • Avoid strenuous activity
  • Check on neighbours, relatives and friends who are less able to look after themselves regularly

For more information, visit NHS Choices.