How To Stay Cool During A Heatwave, Because Us Brits Aren't Used To This Weather

Updated:
Sierra Pruitt/Stocksy

It's summertime, which means beer gardens, burnt sausages on the BBQ, and queing for a ridiculously long time to get into a lido. This week, the UK is experiencing a serious heat wave. On Thursday (July 25 2019), temperatures are expected to reach a record high of 37C, so it's crucial to learn how to stay cool during a heatwave.

Everyone wants to live their best life in the summer, but with great heat comes great responsibility. Heatwaves can be seriously dangerous, if not fatal, when proper precautions are not taken. For example, the changes of heatstroke become much higher. This is when you become too dehydrated and your body temperature rises due to being out in the sun or in hot temperatures.

Older people are more likely to be affected by the change in temperature. Last year, the Guardian reported that almost 700 more deaths than average were recorded in England and Wales during the heatwave in June and July 2018. And sadly, there are no laws currently in the UK about working when it's too hot. So it's critical that staying cool and hydrated is your top priority through the hotter than average weather. Here are five tips on how to stay cool during a scorching heat wave:

Stay hydrated

Obviously a cold bevy or an ice-cream go hand-in-hand with hot weather, but water is key to fight off dehydration. Being in the sun too long can cause dehydration, with babies, children, and the elderly being more at risk. The NHS says symptoms include feeling thirsty, dizzy, or light headed and having dark yellow wee. Keep a bottle with you and make sure your sipping water throughout the day, and try to avoid excessive alcohol consumption.

The windows: to close or not to close

Shutterstock

There's an age-old debate on whether to keep your windows open or close them during exceptionally hot weather. The answer is do both. While its tempting to swing all the windows open day and night during hot weather, that could make things worse. The NHS suggests shutting the windows and pulling down the blinds when it's hotter outside, then opening the windows for ventilation when it's cooler.

Choose your clothing wisely

What you wear can really help you stay cool during the hotter months. It's obviously tempting to get the short shorts out and wear as little as possible, but the more skin on show the more chance of sunburn, which makes it harder for your body to stay cool. The BBC recommends light-coloured clothes rather than dark ones, as dark clothes retain more heat. Also loose fitting clothes, a hat, and sunglasses are ideal for outdoors.

Sleeping in the heat

Shutterstock

Getting to sleep in sticky weather can be tough especially as home air conditioning isn't that common in the UK. In a statement sent to Bustle UK, Mahmuda Khatun, medical expert at Instant eCare, says having a cool shower just before you go to bed can help reduce your temperature. Removing winter bedding and using lightweight, cotton blankets helps too. Minimum intensive exercise and avoiding big dinners just before bed time is also a good idea. And if all else fails consider sleeping downstairs if you're able to.

Keep your arms and legs cold

Keeping your pulse points cold can aid in making you feel cooler. Try putting ice packs or cold water on your wrist, the inside of your elbows, behind the knees, and neck. In a statement sent to Bustle UK, home management service Hoppy suggest that keeping your extremities (hands and feet) cold will help cool your blood down quickly which will then be pumped throughout the rest of your body.

This article was originally published on