How to stay well in hot weather

On this page you will find advice on how to cope in hot weather and heatwaves, how to keep yourself and your home cool and identifying signs of heatstroke and heat exhaustion.

Who may be most at risk during hot weather?

While many people enjoy the sunshine, for some hot weather can lead to serious health problems. Older people, people with long term conditions and young children can be particularly vulnerable. 

More information on looking after children in the heat can be found online.

How to keep cool during hot weather

  • Drink plenty of fluids, avoid excess alcohol and take water with you if you're travelling.
  • Familiarise yourself with the NHS tips on how to cope in hot weather.
  • Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm, when the UV rays are the strongest.
  • If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sun cream and wear a sun hat.
  • Avoid physical exertion during the hottest parts of the day.
  • Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content
  • Take a cool shower, bath or body wash.

How to help others during hot weather

How to keep your home cool during hot weather

  • Shade or cover windows exposed to direct sunlight.
  • Take a break from the heat by moving to a cooler part of the house (especially for sleeping).
  • Check that fridges, freezers and fans are working properly.
  • Open windows (when it's safe to do so) when the air feels cooler outside than inside; for example, at night to try to get air flowing through the home.
  • Turn off central heating.
  • Turn off lights and electrical equipment that is not in use.
  • Get further tips on health and hot weather from the UK Government

Ways of keeping cool away from your home

  • It may be cooler outside in the shade or in a public building (such as places of worship or supermarkets). Consider a visit as a way of cooling down. 

Check you are storing medicines correctly

Make sure medicines can be stored according to the instructions on the packaging.

Travelling on public transport during hot weather

The hot weather can also affect travel. Before you travel check Transport for London (TfL) for travel alerts and National Rail travel alerts as trains may be running a reduced speeds.

Try to carry a bottle of water with you. You can find free drinking water at thousands of locations with Refill London.

Water safety during hot weather

Take care and follow local safety advice if you are going into the water to cool down for example swimming in open water.

Going into the water might seem like a good idea in the hot weather but it is incredibly dangerous as the water is a lot colder than you’d expect. Cold water can cause your body to go into shock no matter how fit you are.

Do not swim in Shadwell Basin, it is extremely dangerous and people who can swim, even strong swimmers, have drowned. It is not safe to swim in Shadwell Basin.