Many of us enjoy summertime, whether we’re taking a trip to a hot country or enjoying an afternoon drink in a local beer garden. In between work, it’s good to enjoy the warm days but it’s also important to stay cool. Summer can be fun, but too much heat can pose serious health risks. Generally the people who are at greater risk are babies and young children, people over 75 and those with medical conditions.

One way to avoid too much heat is by staying out of direct sunlight during peak hours. The sun is usually at its hottest between 11am and 3pm, so you may wish to stay in cooler areas if you feel exposed. If your home gets hot during the day, it may be worth investing in an electric fan or air cooler. These can be bought cheap and are available in most home appliance shops. You could even install a ceiling fan into one of your rooms.

This doesn’t mean you should stay indoors indefinitely. If you plan to go out, there are some steps you can take to keep yourself cool and hydrated. Drinking water is probably the easiest way to do this, so it’s best to carry a bottle around with you. If you and some friends decide to stop off at a pub for an afternoon drink, remember that alcohol actually dehydrates your body, even if it feels refreshing. To avoid this, it’s best to stick to water, soft drinks and fruit juices.

Wearing sunscreen is also vital as it protects your skin against UV rays. A lotion with a factor of 15 or above is recommended, particularly for children and older people.

While out, it’s also best to wear loose fitting clothing as these allow the skin pores to breath. Wearing tight clothes will restrict the pores and make you feel ‘sticky’. It’s also a good idea to wear light coloured clothes, such as white, as they reflect the heat rather than absorb it. You’ll notice how much cooler you feel wearing a loose, white, cotton t-shirt compared to wearing a tight, black, polyester one.

Using these basic tips, you will be able to enjoy the long summer days, but also have adequate protection against things like heat stroke and heat exhaustion.