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Summer has got off to a great start this year with some glorious weather across the UK. There’s nothing like a sunny summer’s day to  make us feel good. But rising temperatures can quickly become overwhelming and even dangerous – particularly for elderly or more vulnerable people.

It makes sense to plan ahead for any predicted heatwaves this summer to make sure you can enjoy the fine weather without falling victim to its dangers.

Here are five ways to keep your cool as the mercury rises:

1- Avoid the midday sun

It’s great to get out and enjoy the sunshine – but during a heatwave it’s best to avoid being outside for too long during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm. This is particularly important for more vulnerable people. If you need to go outside, stay in the shade as much as possible. Wear loose, light-coloured clothing  and a hat – and don’t forget to use sunscreen, making sure not to miss any bits.

2- Keep your house cool

Not many of us will have air conditioning so we need to take advantage of anything we can to keep our homes as cool as possible. Fans make a big difference – even the little hand-held ones can bring quite a bit of relief. Again, plan ahead – if you need a fan don’t leave it until the heatwave has kicked in to try to buy one, they may well be sold out.

Although it’s lovely to throw open the curtains and let the light stream in, this isn’t necessarily the best course of action in a heatwave. In extreme heat the general advice is keep curtains closed in rooms that face the sun. Use light coloured curtains if possible as darker colours can have the effect of retaining heat. If the air is hotter outside it’s better to keep windows closed during the sunniest parts of the day but to open them as temperatures fall.

3 – Keep drinking

It’s always a good idea to stay well hydrated – but in hot weather this becomes vitally important. Keep drinking throughout the day – but avoid alcohol and caffeine as much as possible as these are dehydrating.

4 – Make good use of water

Water is one of the best ways to cool down in a heatwave. Swimming is the perfect form of exercise during the hot summer months and an excellent way  to stay refreshed. If you’re planning to swim outside make sure you follow any safety advice and avoid dangerous stretches of water.

If you can’t get out for a swim try soaking your feet in a bucket of cool water, put your wrists under running water and also use it to splash the back of your neck.

5 – Sleep tight

Help yourself get a good night’s sleep by keeping the bedroom as cool as possible. As the outside temperature drops, that’s a good time to open bedroom windows if it’s safe to do so. For maximum comfort ditch the duvet and sleep with just a sheet. If  you have a hot water bottle try filling it with cold water instead – this small step is surprisingly effective!

As well as making yourself comfortable in a heatwave do remember to check on elderly friends, family and neighbours to make sure they are coping with the extreme weather.

Anyone who struggles to get up and down stairs could benefit from having a stairlift installed.  Get in touch with our friendly team of experts at Halton Stairlifts for help and advice. Call 0800 644 7766 to find out more about our full range of curved and straight stairlifts, or to arrange your free home assessment.