‘Genuine Australian’ offers heatwave advice to Brits in viral Twitter thread

·3-min read
 (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

An extreme heatwave sweeping the UK has seen the country recording its warmest night on record, according to provisional Met Office figures.

As Britons steel themselves for another blisteringly hot day, one Australian woman has offered her advice on how to cope with the high temperatures.

The UK is likely to see its hottest day on record today (Tuesday 19 July), with temperatures forecast to soar as high as 43C in some places.

In Australia, where average summertime temperatures can reach nearly 40C, locals are better-prepared for heatwaves and dry conditions.

Many homes and venues have air-conditioning to help people stay cool. However, air-conditioning is uncommon to find in British homes and not every shop is equipped with it.

Follow the latest updates on the UK heatwave

Dr Ellie Mackin Roberts, an Australian living in London, took to Twitter to share her top tips for coping with the heat without air-conditioning.

Her advice, documented in a Twitter thread, includes closing the curtains “all the way during the entire day”.

At night, however, she added: “You can open [the curtains] at night, when you will also (if possible) open your windows the whole way and direct any fans to make a through breeze.”

Directing a fan to face the outside through an open window can help to create cross ventilation, which brings cooler air from outside a home whilst forcing warm air out.

Dr Roberts also advised people to buy a mister or a spray bottle, which can be used to spray water on the skin to keep it cool.

“Also good for keeping pets cool – which is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT,” she added.

Other advice offered in her thread include stocking up on ice, staying hydrated and wearing high SPF sunscreen.

She also recommends freezing damp towels, both small and large, and using them to cool off certain parts of the body or for sleeping under.

Dr Roberts also emphasised the importance of knowing the signs of heatstroke, describing the condition as “no joke”.

According to the NHS, signs of heatstroke include feeling unwell even after resting in a cool place and drinking plenty of water, not sweating even when feeling too hot, a high temperature of 40C or above, and feeling confused.

She offered a rather unusual remedy for heatstroke, which involved placing an “icepack to the armpits”. However, she urged people to “seek medical advice and/or attention” following this step.

Another unusual piece of advice was for treating dehydration. She said: “Drink a half a pint of beer (including alcohol-free!) and then move straight onto water or a sports drink or cordial if you don’t like water.”

Dr Roberts’ thread was received with gratitude from too-hot Britons, but her use of the words “genuine Australian” was questioned by some people.

She added in a follow-up tweet: “As I’ve woken up to thousands of notifications from a thread that was just meant to help some of my friends out, I want to say my use of ‘genuine Australian’ was tongue in cheek and I want to acknowledge the Boonwurrung people are the traditional owners of the land I grew up on.”

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