Beat the hot weather: top tips for staying cool
Here are a few tips for staying cool-headed during the heatwave - and why you shouldn't believe some of those old myths.
1. Wetter is better
Yes, really! Heat escapes through the skin, so the larger the area being cooled down, the better.
So forget that old myth about rubbing ice cubes on the wrists to cool the whole body. In baking hot weather, wearing a wet t-shirt, and keeping it wet, can be really effective.
2. Drink plenty of water
See all that sweat pouring out of you? It needs to be replaced or you'll dehydrate.
Glug back loads of water and, if possible, isotonic sports drinks to replenish lost salts, sugars and fluids.
3. Hold back the booze
Blazing sun; high spirits; too many drinks.
We've all seen where this road ends, and it's not pretty. Alcohol causes dehydration, which can hit especially hard if your body's already struggling to cope with the weather. Try to drink in moderation.
4. Forget that vindaloo
Another daft myth: eating a curry will make you sweat more and cool the skin.
You'll be far better off sticking to well-balanced, light and regular meals. And plenty of water, of course.
5. Know the risks
Many people believe that heat exhaustion and heatstroke are the same thing, but heatstroke is potentially far more serious.
Heat exhaustion is caused when the body loses excessive water, salt and sugars through sweating. It can be treated simply by having plenty to drink, keeping out of the sun and cooling down.
Heatstroke occurs when the body's temperature becomes dangerously high and is no longer able to cool itself. Symptoms include hot, flushed and dry skin, and also confusion, headache, nausea and muscle cramps.
Heatstroke can develop with little warning and quickly lead to the person becoming unresponsive. So it's vital to cool them down as quickly as possible by wrapping them in a wet sheet or clothing and dialling 999.