West Berkshire Council

Preparing for Hot Weather

Advice to help you plan ahead during the warmer months

Sunlight is essential for our health and wellbeing, however, excessive exposure to high temperatures during Summer can be detrimental to our health and can even be fatal. Effective actions like those listed below can reduce the impacts of exposure to excessive heat.

On this page:

Tips for coping in hot weather

During a period of hot weather you can:

  • shut windows and pull down shades or curtains when it is hot outside; you can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler - check out the pdf icon Beat the Heat: keep cool at home checklist [192kb]
  • turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat
  • identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool
  • plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you need
  • if you have a health condition, keep medicines below 25 degrees Celsius or in the refrigerator
  • stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day)
  • look out for others around you, especially older people, young children and babies and those with serious long-term illnesses; also take extra care if you are pregnant
  • keep intense physical exercise to a minimum between 11am and 3pm if you are working or exercising outdoors
  • have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water
  • drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice; avoid alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar
  • listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media and visit the MetOffice website for the latest forecasts
  • wear loose, cool clothing, a hat and UV sunglasses (preferably wraparound) to reduce UV exposure to the eyes; walk in the shade if you go outdoors
  • use sunscreen that has a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 to protect against UVB and at least four-star UVA protection - visit the NHS Choices website for more information about sunscreen and sun safety
  • never leave anyone in a closed parked vehicle, especially babies, young children or animals

For more tips, you can check the information on how to cope in hot weather from NHS Choices.

If you're worried about someone you know, you can call 111 (the non-emergency number) or visit your local chemist for advice.

Children's safety

During hot weather, it is important to be especially aware of water and window safety for babies and children. See more information about water safety for children and accidents to children from RoSPA.

Watch the video below about the risks of leaving babies and infants unsupervised near water or open windows:


Air quality

Heatwaves can sometimes be accompanied by smogs which can lead to high concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter in the air. Pollutants can also react with sunlight and increase ozone levels.

Adults and children with heart or lung problems are at greater risk of symptoms from changes to the air quality. Follow your doctor's usual advice about exercising and managing your condition. Very sensitive individuals may experience health effects even on low air pollution days.

Information on the latest pollution levels, air quality forecasts, recommended actions and health advice is available from the Defra UK-Air website or by calling 0800 55 66 77.


During hot weather, dehydration is a common and serious risk. It's important to balance food and fluid intake between fasts and especially to drink enough water.

During Ramadan, if you or someone you know, starts to feel unwell, disoriented or confused, or collapses or faints, stop fasting and have a drink of water or other fluid. This is especially important for older adults, those with poorly controlled medical conditions such as low/high blood pressure, diabetes and those who are receiving dialysis treatment. The Muslim Council of Britain has confirmed that breaking fast in such conditions is allowable under Islamic law.

Also, make sure to check on others in the community who may be at greater risk and keep an eye on children to ensure they are having a safe and healthy Ramadan. For further information and resources visit the Muslim Council of Britain website.

Priority services

Heatwaves may affect services, such as power and water supplies. Some vulnerable people can be registered as 'priority users' so that companies will prioritise keeping their services connected, or offer support, if the service is interrupted for any reason.

You can register with:

Thames Water also provides guidance on what to do if you have no water or low water pressure.

Further information

View the documents and links below for further advice and guidance:

If you would like a copy of the Public Health and Wellbeing pdf icon Warm Weather Messages leaflet [1Mb], please contact the Public Health and Wellbeing Team.

Who To Contact