How to Stay Cool and Hydrated this Summer

Published: 22/05/2019

While it's nice to have some good weather for a change, very hot temperatures can be dangerous if we don't keep cool and stay hydrated. Here's Bluebird Care Wandsworth's guide to staying well in the heat this summer.

We’ve already had some very hot weather this year and more soaring temperatures are expected this summer. While it’s nice to see the sun for a change, it’s also important to recognise the dangers of very high temperatures. For older and vulnerable people, excessive heat can cause health problems which, in extreme cases, can have very serious consequences. The 10 day heatwave of 2003 resulted in 2000 heat-related deaths in the UK.

So, how can we enjoy the warm weather without it affecting our wellbeing?

Stay Hydrated

  • Drink enough fluid - Dehydration is something we need to be careful to avoid in normal weather but during a heatwave it’s especially important to make sure you’re drinking enough. The recommended amount of fluid is 6-8 glasses a day, but if the weather’s very hot you might need to add a few more glasses to your total to compensate for fluid lost through sweating. You don’t just have to drink water, though. Smoothies and shakes with added ice can be a good way of cooling down whilst upping your fluid intake.
  • Check your urine - A good way to tell weather you’re well hydrated is to look at the colour of your urine. If it’s yellow or orange in colour, that’s a sign that your body is dehydrated and you need to drink more. A pale straw colour is what you’re aiming for.
  • Eat foods high in fluid – lots of fruits and vegetables, like watermelon, tomatoes, cucumber and oranges, contain a high level of fluid which will count towards you recommended daily intake.
  • Know the symptoms - Other signs of dehydration can include headaches, dry mouth and lips, tiredness or feeling confused, dizzy or lightheaded. 
  • Seek medical help – if you think you’re severely hydrated, an extra drink isn’t going to do the trick. Get medical attention right away. It’s a serious condition, so you need to get the right treatment as soon as possible.

 Stay Cool

  • Keep drinks in the fridge or freezer and add ice to beverages to cool you down. Drinking cold liquid and holding an icy glass or bottle in your hands can all help to lower your temperature.
  • Use an ice pack. If you don’t have a fancy, purpose made one, a plastic bag full of ice and water wrapped in a tea towel is just as good. Using it to cool your face, neck and core is really refreshing in the heat.
  • Stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Choose shady spots if you want to sit outside and try not to exert yourself as much as you normally would. The heat can quickly sap your energy and make you lose more fluid than you think.
  • Get the air around you moving. If there’s a breeze, get the windows open; if you have a fan, put it on; if neither of those are an option go back to basics and fan yourself with a magazine or piece of paper.
  • Wear loose clothing made of natural fibres. Fabrics like cotton are light and breathable, so you won’t get as hot and sweaty. If you’re going out in the sun, light colours are a good idea as they reflect the heat better.
  • Take a cool shower. If that’s not an option, splashing your face with cold water or running your forearms or feet under cold water can help cool you down.

Staying Safe in Hot Weather

Of course, we all want to make the most of warm weather. Seeing the sun is a mood booster and it makes a nice change to be able to leave the house without a raincoat! It just pays to take a few sensible precautions to stay safe and well in the heat.

At Bluebird Care Wandsworth, we look after all aspects of our Customers’ wellbeing, including helping them to stay safe and healthy in hot weather. If you or a member of your family could benefit from having care at home, get in touch with our care team. With a range of services, from daily visits to live in care, we can create a bespoke plan to match your unique needs.

Call us now on 020 8877 4950 or use our simple online contact form.