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Keeping well in summer

After a cold winter, it's always nice when the sun finally starts to shine, but it's important to be aware of the risks associated with being out in the sun for prolonged periods.

The following advice can help you keep cool, comfortable and safe in the summer sun: 

  • Try to stay out of the sun and find shade as much as possible, if you're vulnerable to the effects of summer heat, especially between 11am and 3pm, when the sun is at its hottest

  • Drink plenty of cold drinks, such as water and fruit juice, and try to avoid tea, coffee and alcohol

  • Always use a good quality sunscreen (see below for more details)

  • Wear loose, cool clothing and a hat when you're heading outdoors

  • Have cool showers or baths and regularly splash yourself with cool water

  • Plan ahead to make sure you have enough supplies, such as food, water and any medications you may need

  • Shut your windows and pull down the shades when it's hot outside.  If it's safe, open them for ventilation when it's cooler.  You can also keep your rooms cool by using shades or reflective materials outside the windows or by hanging light-coloured curtains, which are kept closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make a room hotter)

  • Identify the coolest room in the house, where you can retreat to when it's hot outside

  • Check on friends, relatives and neighbours, especially if they're more vulnerable and less able to look after themselves

Don't forget....
When the weather is hot, never leave young children or animals in parked cars.

Avoid sunburn

Whatever your age, the best way to enjoy the sun safely and protect your skin from sunburn is to use a combination of shade, clothing and sunscreen.  Children and teenagers might need a reminder or a helping hand, but setting a good example yourself is a great way to help them learn and get into good habits. 


  • Try to spend time in the shade between 11am and 3pm

  • Cover up with a t-shirt, hat and sunglasses

  • Use a sunscreen with a protection level of at least SPF15 and 4 stars.  Make sure you use it generously and regularly re-apply it, especially after being in the water

The NHS website has additional useful information on sunscreen and sun safety and how to cope in hot weather.

Having a BBQ?

Barbecues can be a lovely way to relax and enjoy the summer sunshine, but they can turn into a nightmare if you get food poisoning!  To keep everyone safe when firing up the barbecue, remember the four C's of food hygiene:


You may need to keep some food in the fridge to help slow down the growth of harmful bacteria, keeping it fresh and safe for longer.  This is especially important when you’re eating outdoors in warm weather.


Make sure you clean everything properly to get rid of bacteria on hands, equipment and surfaces to help to stop harmful bacteria from spreading onto your food.


The biggest food poisoning risk when barbecuing comes from raw or under cooked meat.  Make sure you cook your food at the right temperature and for the correct length of time to kill any harmful bacteria.


This is most likely to happen when raw food touches or drips onto ready to eat food, utensils or surfaces, so make sure you keep everything separate and clean.

To find out more, visit the Food Standards Agency website or take a look at our food safety page.

Washing fruit and vegetables

Most people are aware of the importance of handling meat safely, but many consider the risk of food poisoning from vegetables to be low.  To ensure you're storing, washing and preparing your fruit and vegetables correctly, take a look at the NHS website.

Need some inspiration?

If you're not sure what to create for your barbecue, Change4Life has some delicious quick and easy recipes for you to try.  They even work under the grill, just in case the nice weather disappears!

Find inspiration today on the Change4Life website.

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