Staying well in hot weather

Stay well when it’s hot by:

  • avoiding the midday sun
  • having plenty of cold drinks (but not alcohol or drinks with lots of caffeine such as cola, coffee or tea)
  • putting on lots of sunscreen

During heatwaves, when it’s really hot, day and night, it’s particularly important to keep cool. Babies and infants, older people and those with heart, breathing and other serious health problems are more likely to fall ill. If you’ve got a neighbour or friend who might be at risk, check that they’re alright.

The Met Office warns of heatwaves – so check weather reports on your TV, radio, smartphone and online.

Heatwave tips include:

  • applying a damp cloth or scarf to the back of your neck or splashing your face and the back of your neck with cold water several times a day
  • staying indoors in the coolest room in your home
  • reducing sunlight coming through the windows, for example with shutters. Metal blinds and dark curtains absorb heat and can make the room warmer, so it is better to use light-coloured curtains or reflective material
  • keeping windows closed when the room is cooler than outside
  • opening windows when the temperature inside rises and keeping them open at night to let cooler air in
  • having plenty of cold drinks
  • avoiding alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.

Take care with food during hot weather. Bacteria multiply quickly, which increases the risk of food poisoning. Make sure that fresh food is kept in the fridge or, if away from home, in cool bags. As in any weather, wash salad and raw foods thoroughly.

If you have a barbecue, make sure that food is cooked all the way through. The Food Standards Agency has advice on cooking a safe barbecue.

  • Help your neighbours in winter
    • Help your neighbours in winter

      Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather.

      For advice and support on various household issues such as saving energy, support with bills and energy debts and fire safety visit

      For more information please visit Camden Care Choices.

  • Flu
    • Flu

      You can catch flu (or influenza) all year round, but it’s especially common in winter, which is why it’s also known as ‘seasonal flu’.

      Flu is not the same as the common cold. Flu is caused by different viruses. The symptoms tend to start more suddenly, are more severe and last longer.

      Avoid spreading or catching flu viruses or spreading them to others by:

      • washing your hands regularly with soap and warm water
      • cleaning surfaces such as your computer keyboard, telephone and door handles regularly
      • covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
      • putting used tissues in a bin.

      An NHS flu vaccine is free to people who are at risk, including:

      • anyone over the age of 65
      • pregnant women
      • anyone who is very overweight (with a body mass index (BMI) over 40)
      • children and adults with an underlying health condition (particularly long-term heart or lung disease)
      • children and adults with weakened immune systems.

      You can have your NHS flu jab at your GP surgery or any local pharmacy that’s offering the vaccination.

      It’s best to have your jab in October or November. (You can have it later if there are stocks left.)

      Healthy children aged two to four years old and schoolchildren in years 1 and 2 can now get a quick and painless flu vaccine nasal spray every year instead of an injection. Ask your GP or the nurse at your GP surgery.

      For more information visit


  • Helping others during hot weather
    • Helping others during hot weather

      Some people are at greater risk in the heat:

      • older people
      • babies and young children
      • people with long-term physical or mental health conditions and taking certain medications.

      If you know someone who’s at risk during a heatwave, check that they can get help if they need it. Older friends and neighbours who live alone will appreciate a quick visit every day to make sure that they’re well.

      People with asthma or other breathing problems can be affected by dirty air during hot weather. Sign up to get Free AirText service quality alerts, which will help avoid the worst effects of air pollution.

      If you’re concerned about your health or somebody you care for:

  • Staying well in cold weather
    • Staying well in cold weather

      Cold weather can affect everyone’s health.

      The Met Office will warn when severe weather is coming – so check weather reports on your TV, radio, smartphone and online. Prepare before cold weather arrives by:

      • having your boiler serviced
      • making sure your home is well insulated.

      Camden’s Green Helpline and Well and Warm advise on energy-saving measures. You can find out about grants or other help to keep your home warm.

      If you go outside, make sure you wear non-slip shoes and plenty of clothes. Lots of thin layers will keep you warmer than just one thick layer of clothes.

      Have hot meals and warm drinks regularly and keep active at home.