UK

Heatwave: How are you coping with the summer temperatures

People walk in a park in central London
Image caption The high temperatures make walking in the park a tiring affair

As north-west England becomes the latest area of the UK to be put on a level 3 heatwave alert by the Met Office, the hot spell is predicted to continue into next week.

With the UK experiencing its most prolonged spell of hot weather in seven summers, officials are advising people to stay cool, drink lots of cold fluids and keep an eye on the elderly and young children.

So how are people coping with the long, hot summer of 2013?

Hannah Ashton, teacher, Southend School for Girls, Southend-on-Sea

Image caption Teacher Hannah Ashton says teaching in the heat is a challenge

It is definitely a challenge trying to teach when the weather is this hot, especially so close to the end of term. It's hard keeping pupils' attention on the lesson when they can see the sun outside - all they want to do is sunbathe!

As a school we try to help students keep cool as best we can. Rooms with computers in have air-conditioning which really helps learning by keeping the room at a comfortable temperature.

We also adjust the uniform policy. Pupils don't have to wear their blazers in this heat. They are also reminded about drinking lots of water, and wearing suncream, which was especially important yesterday when we were all outside for sports day.

Yolanda Luca, retail manager, Luca's Ice Cream, Edinburgh

Image caption Ice cream is the ideal treat on a sunny day

We just can't remember weather like this at all. Everywhere I look there's a customer demanding ice cream. I go to bed dreaming of ice cream and get up thinking about it.

We're busy from the morning till night, but from 2pm to 10pm there is a queue.

It's such a novelty. When the sun shines, everybody rushes to ice cream parlours. We are now practically operating 24 hours to make the ice cream and there are an extra six members of staff in the factory. It's just been non-stop.

Sally Colwill, manager, Chatsworth Care Home, Plymouth

It makes them [the residents] very lethargic. They're not very energised to do anything. They can't sit outside because they get breathless and too hot, but at the same time they don't want the doors and windows open because they believe there'll be a cold wind out there.

We've got parasols out on the patio and we've got trees that shade them but it still affects their breathing and things like that and they can get quite panicky. So it is better that they're staying indoors at the moment.

You have to take lots of things into account. Even just for getting somebody dressed in the morning, because they are used to all their layers… trying to explain to someone with dementia that they don't need to wear as much as they usually do is quite difficult.

Leila and Ola, BBC school reporters, Southend High School for Girls, Southend-on-Sea

Image caption Leila and Ola enjoy being out of their stuffy classroom

Although we love summer and the hot weather we are having at the moment, working and trying to concentrate in school is quite hard. Most students don't concentrate as well in class when it is hot because all we are thinking about is how stuffy it is and how we long to be outside in the sunshine.

Most lessons carry on as normal. However, teachers of creative subjects such as art are keener to let us spend lessons outside because we can take inspiration for our drawings from nature.

Matt Bolton, student nurse, London

I was looking after some people in hospital last week. The patients were confused and needed a lot of attention. When looking after elderly people, when it's hot, a lot of them need encouragement to drink.

If care is individualised, you get to know what they're like and you know how to talk to them, how to approach them, how to encourage them to drink more. It's increasingly difficult in hospitals, with lack of staff, targets and so on. Focus has shifted from individualised patient care to ticking boxes and meeting targets.