Heatwave Hacks: 28 Tips and Tricks for Keeping Cool in the UK Heatwave Ellie Thompson 24 July, 2018 Kids, Parenting The mercury is rising and the MET office are advising people to “stay out of the sun” for most of this week. “We advise the public to take care in the sun, especially when temperatures are potentially reaching 30C or more throughout this week – either stay out of the sun or be sensible and don’t go out in the strongest sunshine hours – 11am to 3pm,” a Met Office spokeswoman said. The usual precautions have been issued: covering up, wearing sun screen, keeping your house cool and drinking plenty of water. We’ve searched the internet high and low and come up with these 28 brilliant tips to help you keep cool in the heatwave. Keep hydrated Bring your body temperature down by drinking cool glasses of water regularly. Dehydration can be caused by sweat, which can be make you susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Wet paper towels If you’re looking for the quickest way to cool your bottled drinks (or beers, wines etc!) simply wrap a wet paper towel around the bottle and put it in the freezer. Eat less meat Large amounts of protein found in red meat and some fish can increase the body’s metabolic heat as it attempts to break down the heavy food. Your body warms up as it works to process larger meals. Metabolic heat is needed to break down food, so eating smaller portions more regularly can help keep you cooler. Avoid caffeine Caffeine can make you feel hot and jittery in the heat and affect your productivity. Switch to a healthy smoothie while the heatwave lasts. Don’t overdo the anti-perspirant Excessive use can prevent the the body’s natural heat loss mechanism. This can block sweat pores and prevent body from cooling down effectively. Wear your sports gear Sports wear is perfectly designed to deal with sweat, which will keep you cool in the sun. Keep your moisturiser in the fridge Treat yourself to a seriously cool treat with this tip. It’ll also prevent your moisturiser from going off or melting. Keep your feet cool There are plenty of pulse points around the feet and ankles, so dunking your feet into an ice bucket can help take your temperature down. Wear socks Seems a little odd, but wearing socks in the heat can help you stay cool and fresh. Socks can help to absorb the sweat, keeping your feet cool and clean. Shut out the sun Keep blinds and curtains closed during the day as a preventative measure to stop your room from overheating. To keep your house cool, you need to keep the hot air out – this means keeping windows (particularly south-facing windows) closed and covered with blinds or curtains during the hottest daytime hours. Then, when the temperature has dropped at night time, you can open everything up to let the cooler air travel through your home. How to use your fan Strategic placement Fans work brilliantly in mild heat, but when it’s hot, really all they do is just blow hot air around. If you’re using fans, you’ve got to think about strategic placement. If you point your fan outside, slightly towards the windows, they push out the hot air. If you have a ceiling fan set them counter-clockwise to pull the hot air away. The bowl of ice trick If you place a bowl or tray of ice in front of a blowing fan your room will become cooler as the ice melts. The fan picks up the cool air coming from the surface of the ice, creating a deliciously cool mist. Create a cross-breeze Strategically placing fans around a room can create a pretty nifty cross breeze. Place one by the window, another in the middle of the room – they’ll work together to push the cooler air around. Take a shower A shower is a fantastic way to cool down and reset. Top tip – make sure the water is tepid rather than warm or hot. Avoid filling the air with steam which will make the room much hotter. Rinse your wrists Cool water on the wrists or feet will cool you down quickly, a good tip to do just before bedtime. Wear cotton clothing Cotton is the coolest fabric to wear in the heat. Avoid dark colours and go for whites and beiges which will help reflect the sun’s rays. Use cotton sheets Archive the satin and silk sheets and invest in some light-coloured cotton sheets – which are breathable and better to sleep in. Take a tip from the Egyptians – dampen a towel or sheet in cool water and use as a blanket. Don’t forget to lay the damp sheets on top of dry towels to avoid getting a soggy bed! Use grains I can’t say I’ve tried this one – but apparently Buckwheat pillows don’t absorb heat like cotton, so try it for a cooler night’s sleep. Hang a wet sheet Hanging a wet sheet in front of an open window will help bring down the room’s temperature. Use your freezer! Speaking of sheets, stick them in a plastic bag and pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before bedtime. It’s a short-lived hack, but will help you get soundly off to sleep! Fill up a hot water bottle And no – not with hot water, fill it up from the tap and stick it in the freezer and you have yourself a multi-purpose ice pack! Make a DIY cold compress Fill a (clean!) sock with rice and put it in the freezer. Et voila! You’ve just created your very own cold compress that won’t melt. Turn off the lights All light bulbs create heat. Switch them off. Get low We all know that heat rises, and it may sound silly, but get as low as you can to surround yourself by cooler air. Sensible option – sleep downstair Shut the windows During the day, keep the windows shut, the blinds down and the curtains closed to keep your room instantly cooler. Paint the house white Slightly more drastic, but painting your house white DOES help. The white paint reflects the light which cools the house down. Insulation A long-term solution to the heat: insulation works both ways, it keeps things warm, but also keeps the heat out once the room has cooled. Unplug your chargers Gadgets like smartphones and tablets produce unnecessary heat while they’re plugged in. Unplug all electrical devises before bed, or charge them in another room. Enjoy the blue skies and the sunshine – we’ll miss it once winter’s here!