Heatwave: seasonal precautions

Last updated: 22/05/2023

Very hot weather can have implications for your health. As well as the usual symptoms of fatigue, it can also cause serious conditions (heatstroke, dehydration). 

In old age, the body perspires less and consequently has difficulty maintaining a temperature of 37°. This can cause a rise in body temperature leading to a risk of heat stroke (hyperthermia, where the temperature rises above 40° and consciousness is impaired).

In children and adults, the body perspires a lot to maintain the correct temperature, but this leads to a loss of water, risking dehydration.

There are some simple steps you can take to help avoid problems, particularly at the beginning of a period of hot weather. It is important to prepare before you notice any signs that your body is suffering, even if these signs seem insignificant.

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There are some simple behaviours and tips you can follow to avoid being affected by the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Cool down regularly
  • Avoid going out during the hottest hours of the day (10 am to 6 pm)
  • Stick to non-strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day
  • Keep your home cool
  • Never leave anyone, particularly a child, alone in a car, even for a very short period, since the temperature inside can rise very quickly (animals should not be left in vehicles either)


Here are some simple behaviours and tips you can follow to prevent UV exposure:

  • Wear long-sleeved clothing, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses
  • Opt for category 3 sunglasses – note that some sunglasses, even those with dark-tinted lenses, do not offer protection against UV rays
  • In addition to these measures, use sun cream on uncovered areas
  • Never expose children under 12 months old to the sun


Exposure and the level of sun cream protection you should use depend on the UV index (which varies according to the amount of sunshine):

  • When the UV index is between 3 and 7: use a sun cream with a minimum of SPF 30+
  • When the UV index is between 8 and 10: use a sun cream with a minimum of SPF 50+
  • When the UV index is 11 or higher:
    • Avoid exposure to the sun
    • Use a sun cream with a minimum of SPF 50+

If you feel unwell (on behalf of yourself or someone else who needs assistance) contact the Fire and Emergency Service by dialling 112.

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