Vulnerable people are being urged to take care during hot weather this week.

Public Health England (PHE) has issued a heat warning and advice for all as people enjoy the high temperatures, and said those with underlying health conditions, older people and very young children were at more risk.

To avoid heat stroke and exhaustion, people are urged to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, avoid excess alcohol and eat smaller meals, such as salads and fruit more often.

More: Weather warning in place for thunderstorms and flooding this weekendEmer O’Connell, consultant in public health for PHE, said: “Most of us look forward to the warmer weather but some people may find it more difficult to cope with these higher temperatures. Older people, those with underlying health conditions and very young children are more at risk in hot weather.

“This summer, many of us are spending more time at home due to COVID-19, especially those who are shielding as they are at high risk of developing severe infection. It is important that we continue to check up on older people, and those with underlying health conditions, particularly if they are living alone and may be socially isolated as we know that a lot of homes can overheat.

“You will need to do things differently this year, for example keeping in touch by phone. If you need to provide direct care to someone at risk from hot weather, follow government guidance on how to do this safely. The most important advice is to ensure they stay hydrated, keep cool and know how to keep their homes cool.”

If out and about in the heat and starting to feel hot, a person should slow down and can use water to cool their skin. Keeping your home cool, applying sun cream and covering your head is also advised.

Health minister Jo Churchill said: “With plenty of sunshine and soaring temperatures expected over the coming days, many of us across the UK will be outside making the most of the fantastic weather while following the social distancing rules. It’s important, however, to make sure you stay safe in the sun: apply sunscreen regularly, stay hydrated, and protect your head from the sun. Look out for those who are vulnerable in the heat, and provide support where needed, continuing to follow social distancing guidance.”