Staying well and safe this summer with Covid 19

Keeping well during the hot weather
Stay well during the hot weather
Published: Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Temperatures are set to rise to around 29c and residents are being asked to take extra care.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, more people are staying at home, either working, furloughed, shielding, self-isolating or recovering from the Covid 19 infection and are therefore, potentially at higher risk of harm from heat.

This includes children learning at home or in school.

Some adults are also more vulnerable to harm from both severe heat and Covid 19, including older people living on their own or in care homes, those with chronic health conditions such as dementia, breathing, mental health problems or with a disability.

As one in five homes in England are likely to overheat, people should take care to avoid extreme heat whilst following guidelines to reduce the risk of Covid 19 infection.

The following tips may be helpful.

Keeping your home cool

  • Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Open windows when the air feels cooler outside than inside.
  • Turn off the central heating and lights and electrical equipment that are not in use.
  • If you do not have air-conditioning, use electric fans if the temperature is below 35°C, but do not aim the fan directly at the body and do not use a fan if anyone in the home is unwell with coronavirus (Covid 19).
  • Check that fridges and freezers are working properly.
  • If your home is uncomfortably hot and affecting your health or someone else’s health, seek medical advice. You may be able to get help from the environmental health department as they can do a home hazard assessment.

Staying cool and well

  • Drink plenty of fluids and avoid excess alcohol. Everyone is at risk of dehydration in hot temperatures, but babies, children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable.
  • Keeping hydrated is especially important for babies, children, the elderly and people unwell with symptoms of Covid 19 infection.
  • When out and about in the hot weather, take water with you. Use a reusable bottle if you can as it reduces contact and will keep you safer.
  • Cooling your skin with water, slow down and drink water – running cool water over the wrists assists with cooling the body.
  • Dressing in loose fitting clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Protect your face and head by wearing a suitable hat when outside.
  • Never leave children or pets in vehicles.
  • Avoid too much sun exposure, and use a high sun protection factor cream, if exposed.
  • Regularly check on family, friends and vulnerable neighbours.
  • Avoid over-exertion or strenuous work during extreme heat.
  • When outside walking or jogging, maintain social distance.
  • If walking and cycling, listen to the forecast and take it easy if the weather is hot.
  • Stay connected, listen to the forecast.
  • Listen to the news to be aware of when a heatwave has been forecast and how long it is likely to last.

Look out for others

  • Look out for others including neighbours, family or friends who may be isolated and unable to care for themselves; make sure they are able to keep cool but follow Covid 19 guidance – including handwashing, wearing face covering and social distancing.