How to stay safe during hot weather

The UK has been hit by a heatwave this week, with temperatures expected to reach 30°C.

And while some people may love the sunshine and warmth, for others it can be a dangerous time.

The heatwave is expected to last for most of the week

The heatwave is expected to last for most of the week

A level 2 alert has been issued by the Met Office and Public Health England with temperatures set to stay high until at least Thursday.

The NHS says the main risks posed by a heatwave are dehydration; overheating and heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Heatwaves can affect anyone but people most at risk are:

* older people, especially those over 75

* babies and young children

* people with a serious chronic condition, especially heart or breathing problems

* people with mobility problems – for example, people with Parkinson's disease or who have had a stroke

* people with serious mental health problems

* people on certain medications, including those that affect sweating and temperature control

* people who misuse alcohol or drugs

* people who are physically active – for example, labourers or those doing sports

The NHS has issued the following tips for people to stay cool during hot weather:

* Shut windows and pull down the shades when it is hotter outside. You can open the windows for ventilation when it is cooler.

* Avoid the heat: stay out of the sun and don't go out between 11am and 3pm (the hottest part of the day) if you're vulnerable to the effects of heat.

* Keep rooms cool by using shades or reflective material outside the windows. If this isn't possible, use light-coloured curtains and keep them closed (metallic blinds and dark curtains can make the room hotter).

* Have cool baths or showers, and splash yourself with cool water.

* Drink cold drinks regularly, such as water and diluted fruit juice. Avoid excess alcohol, caffeine (tea, coffee and cola) or drinks high in sugar.

* Listen to alerts on the radio, TV and social media about keeping cool.

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

* Identify the coolest room in the house so you know where to go to keep cool.

* Wear loose, cool clothing, and a hat and sunglasses if you go outdoors.

* Check up on friends, relatives and neighbours who may be less able to look after themselves.