Do I have to work during a heatwave?
For those hoping to be given a day off, unfortunately, there are currently no laws in the UK about when it is too hot to work.
Employers should provide a “reasonable” temperature in the workplace.
But the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) says a limit cannot be introduced because some industries have to work in high temperatures.
How do you stay cool?
Experts recommend staying in as well-ventilated environments as possible, while avoiding alcohol and exercise and drinking plenty of water.
“If outside, wear loose, thin, porous, light-coloured long-sleeved clothing,” said Prof Hugh Montgomery, from UCL’s division of medicine. “This allows air movement, limits insulation, allows sweat to evaporate and reflects light and heat.”
Wearing a light, open fabric sun-hat can also help, he added. Outside, something as simple as consciously breathing can also help regulate the nervous system and cool you down.
While inside, the NHS suggests keeping windows closed and using light-coloured curtains. “You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler,” the health service advised.
Prof Mike Tipton, from the University of Portsmouth’s extreme environments laboratory, said that immersing your hands and feet in cool water was an effective way to lose heat.
“Artificially cool with fans. You can also enhance evaporation cooling by misting the body with water,” he said, alluding to the increasingly popular hydrating products which you spray in your face.
He also recommended checking your urine colour was a pale straw colour, which indicates adequate hydration.
When preparing for bed, others recommended briefly putting your bed sheets and pillows into a plastic bag and placing them in a freezer, as well as freezing cold water in a hot water bottle to cuddle.
“That’s a very useful way of trying to keep your bed a little bit cooler for longer, or at least enough time for you to drift off to sleep,” Dr Guy Leschziner, a neurologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
In contrast to some commonly held beliefs, he also advocated wearing clothes to bed.
“People may be better off sleeping in clothing rather than sleeping naked,” he said. “If you’re wearing a natural fabric like cotton, then it acts as a wick for your sweat and acts as a surface area for it to evaporate, and thus may make you much cooler.” MB
How To Travel In The Heat
The best advice we can give you is water, water, water. We previously spoke to experts from the RAC, Rail Delivery Group and TFL to get top tips for commuting to work safely.
It helps with concentration while driving and make sure you are well hydrated on public transport. If your journey is particularly long or sticky, consider popping a bottle in the freezer overnight so you can have delicious icy water to drink (and hold against on the back of your neck if you get a little too hot). When on public transport position yourself near an open window to live your best breezy life and offer your seat to those who might need it.
How To Keep Your Pets Cool In The Heat#
“It’s really important not to forget how dangerous the heat can be for our pets,” Shaun Opperman, head vet at Battersea Cats and Dog’s Home, tells HuffPost. “Heatstroke develops when a dog or cat can’t reduce their body temperature and it can be fatal.”
Make sure they have plenty of water and shade, as well as cold towels for them to lie on or a sprinkler in the garden for them to run underneath. Dogs and cats can get sunburnt, just like us, so consider getting an animal-friendly sun cream to put on them. And don’t leave your dog in a car, for heaven’s sake.
Should You Exercise In The Heat?
You can, but take precautions. The NHS says people who are physically active or doing sports are more vulnerable in a heatwave: susceptible to dehydration and heatstroke. This is particularly true if you are exercising outside.
Why not try going for a swim instead or head to a gym? If you don’t have a membership, don’t worry as there are some you can access on a pay as you go basis. credit The Sun