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Keeping children safe in the heatwave

High temperatures both outdoors and indoors may harm children’s health.  

Children’s susceptibility to high temperatures varies; those under four years of age, who are overweight, or who are taking certain medication may be at increased risk of adverse effects. Some children with disabilities or complex health needs may be more susceptible to high temperatures. The school nurse, community health practitioner, family health visitor or the child’s specialist health professional may be able to advise on the particular needs of the individual child.

Support staff should be made aware of the risks and how to manage them. Further information about supporting children with medical condition can be found at the Department

What are the health risks from heat?

Children cannot control their body temperature as efficiently as adults during hot weather because they do not sweat as much and so can be at risk of ill-health from heat.

Heat-related illness can range from mild heat stress to potentially life-threatening heatstroke. The main risk from heat is dehydration (not having enough water in the body). If sensible precautions are taken children are unlikely to be adversely affected by hot conditions, however, teachers, assistants, school nurses and all child carers should look out for signs of heat stress, heat exhaustion and heatstroke. 

Read the' Looking after children and those in early years settings during heatwaves: guidance for teachers and professionals Looking after children and those in early years settings during heatwaves: guidance for teachers and professionals ' for advice on ensuring the safety of children during the warmer months.

Futher tips on coping in the heatwave can be found on NHS Choices.

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