Advice during the heatwave
The heat can affect anyone, especially vulnerable groups such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses and long-term conditions.
Danger symptoms to watch out for in such weather include: feeling dizzy or faint, easily becoming short of breath, increasing confusion and/or vomiting.
Oxfordshire County Council’s public health team is offering the following advice:
- stay out of the heat and direct sunlight as much as possible
- drink plenty of cool fluids and avoid alcohol and caffeine and hot drinks
- keep windows that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, and open windows at night when the temperature has dropped. Use locks on open windows as children may fall out if they are able to climb on furniture to reach the window, or if they are jumping or playing on a bed near an open window.
- wear UV sunglasses, preferably wraparound, to reduce UV exposure to the eyes, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen of at least SPF15 with UVA protection, wear a hat and light scarf. Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes. This should minimise the risk of sunburn.
- avoid physical exertion
- drink plenty of cold drinks
- if you have a health problem, keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator
- look out for others especially vulnerable groups such as the older people, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
- never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
The NHS provides advice about what to do in these situations as well as tips for staying cool. Cancer Research advises how to protect your skin and the Met Office operates a Heat-Health watch system during the summer:
Thames Water is not currently expecting to impose temporary water restrictions, but is encouraging people to make a few small changes to their usual routine to help them keep up with the demand for water and avoid the risk of water restrictions later. These include:
- Turning the tap off while brushing your teeth
- Taking a four minute shower
- Reusing the paddling pool to water the garden rather than pouring it away
- Water your garden at night, when it has most benefit, with a watering can
- Letting your lawn go brown – it will recover
- Washing your car after the heatwave
Avoid bonfires and be extra careful with barbecues. If you do light anything, make sure that the ashes are fully extinguished and damped down before you leave it.
If you smoke, remember to put out your cigarettes properly and not to throw the ends out of your vehicle.
Oxfordshire County Council has issued a warning about wildfires, see their website article: