In the summer months, temperatures can be very high. Many people enjoy this hot weather. There is plenty of sunshine and that puts people in a better mood. It also makes them want to go outside more. When we spend time in the sun, our bodies produce vitamin D. We also take more physical exercise, which can help prevent chronic disease.

But people can also get health problems as a result of the heat. For this reason, it is important to pay extra attention to those who are unable to take good care of themselves. This includes the elderly, people with chronic conditions and young children. For these groups, heat can lead to health problems more quickly. The National Heatwave Plan helps prevent this as much as possible.

National Heatwave Plan

The National Heatwave Plan is a warning system. RIVM uses the plan to inform organisations, healthcare professionals and informal carers about the expected heat. They can then take the heat into account when giving care and support to vulnerable groups. This will make it possible for them to help reduce discomfort and health problems and avoid both if at all possible.

Vulnerable groups

Heat can lead to health problems. For this reason, people who are unable to take good care of themselves need extra attention on hot days. Extra attention is also needed at events, schools and day care centres.

Heat and health

Heat can give anyone symptoms such as a headache, feeling tired and having trouble concentrating. Vulnerable groups are also at greater risk of more serious health problems, like dehydration and heat stroke. That is why it is important to look after each other.

Scientific information

There is a great deal of scientific information about heat and health. We have created a list of the most relevant information.

Information materials

RIVM has developed communication materials that professionals can use to give information about heat. These include animations, infographics and texts about the steps people can take to keep cool in hot weather.