News story

Carry on keeping cool

Public Health England (PHE) advises people to continue taking measures to keep cool as night time temperatures remain high.

The Met Office has reduced the heatwave alert from Level 3 to Level 1 because daytime temperatures are not expected to meet heatwave criteria over the next few days.

With temperatures remaining high, particularly at night in some southern and eastern parts of the country, PHE’s advice remains that people should be aware of the actions to protect those most vulnerable to the health effects of hot weather.

Dr Angie Bone, Head of Extreme Events at PHE, said:

In this continued warm weather, it’s important to remember that high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses.

The next few nights may be quite hot and uncomfortable in some parts of the country. Keep bedrooms as cool as possible by closing curtains on windows that receive the sun and opening windows at cooler times of the day and night, when it is safe to do so. Turn off non-essential lights and electrical items as these generate heat. If the bedroom is uncomfortably hot, think about whether there is another cooler room in the house that might be more comfortable.

Professor Paul Cosford, Director for Health Protection and Medical Director at PHE, said:

While hot weather is enjoyable for most people, it is uncomfortable for some. Sadly, experience tells us that exposure to excessive heat can kill, with most cases of illness and death caused by heart and lung disease. Because we are not used to these very hot temperatures in England, it’s important that local plans are in place to reduce the impact of harm from very hot weather.

PHE uses a number of surveillance systems to collect data on GP consultations and NHS telephone helpline calls. This system operates throughout the year and is used to see what diseases are circulating and what environmental events, including heatwaves, may be affecting the general population. PHE will continue to monitor this surveillance and will produce regular updates on the impact of the heatwave on health.

Top ways for staying safe in the heat:

  • look out for others, especially vulnerable groups such as the elderly, young children and babies and those with serious illnesses
  • never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • if you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat
  • keep physical exertion to cooler parts of the day
  • wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • drink plenty of cold drinks
  • keep medicines below 25 °C or in the refrigerator

The key message for healthy individuals is to follow public health advice on how to enjoy the sun safely by staying cool, drinking lots of cold fluids and checking on those you know are at risk.


Public Health England (PHE) exists to protect and improve the nation’s health and wellbeing, and reduce health inequalities. It does this through advocacy, partnerships, world-class science, knowledge and intelligence, and the delivery of specialist public health services. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health.