Staying safe: tips for coping in hot weather

As the hot and sunny weather continues, remember a few simple steps to keep you and your home safe and secure.

Dr Jonathan Hildebrand, Kingston’s Director of Public Health said:

“Most of us welcome hot weather, but when it's too hot for too long there are health and home safety risks.  Make sure the hot weather this summer doesn't harm you or anyone you know – older people and young children are particularly vulnerable - by following these useful tips and advice.”

  • shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it is cooler. But remember open windows can be both a risk for a fall, and to the security of your home
  • toddlers and young children are particularly at risk of falling from open windows and patio doors on balconies. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) recommend that windows above the ground floor are fitted with locks or stays to prevent children falling out. Child safety window barriers can also provide children with a similar level of protection from falls from windows. Remember children can climb on to beds and other furniture, so don’t assume it is only windows they can reach when standing that are of concern. If in doubt, do not leave windows and patio doors open. The easiest way to keep young children from playing on balconies is to keep the balcony doors locked
  • open windows and doors can also be a risk to your home security, so use common sense when choosing which windows and doors to open and close
  • have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water. Having damp flannels chilled in the fridge to drape around the back of the neck can be refreshing
  • if you get the paddling pool out, remember children should be supervised at all times because there is a risk of drowning even in very shallow water. When you have finished using the paddling pool it is safest to empty it of water. Be extra careful when visiting places with open water and friends with ponds or pools
  • children should be encouraged to swim in safe places like swimming pools that have trained lifeguards and they should also have the dangers of swimming in canals, lakes, ponds, rivers or the sea explained to them
  • for adults swimming in the sea, lakes, canals, ponds or rivers can be risky to your health unless you take sensible precautions. Even confident swimmers can quickly get in to difficulties in cold water when out-of-their depth. Beware of tides and currents. Visit the NHS Choices website for more information.
  • drink cold drinks regularly, such as water, squash and fruit juice. Avoid tea, coffee and alcohol
  • identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool
  • wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat if you go outdoors. If you do go outdoors, avoid the hottest part of the day and wear suncream with a high level SPF (sun protection factor). Never let yourself or a family member get sunburnt as this damages skin
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle

For more information see coping with extreme weather.