Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

We hope you're all enjoying the Summer and staying sun safe!

Two potentially serious health conditions in this hot weather are heat exhaustion and heatstroke. We've listed a few facts below. For more detailed information, visit the NHS website.

Tips for avoiding heat exhaustion and heatstroke:

  • Stay out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day, usually between 11am and 3pm
  • Apply sunscreen, wear a hat and walk in the shade
  • Do not leave anyone in a parked car
  • Avoid excessive physical exertion
  • Drink plenty of fluids, avoiding caffeine and alcohol
  • Eat cold foods, especially those with a high water content such as fruit and salad
  • Take a cool shower or bath or wash yourself down with a cool, damp cloth
  • Sprinkle water over your skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck
  • Keep your environment cool

The main symptom of heat exhaustion is extreme tiredness. When exposed to heat for long periods of time, blood pressure and blood volumes levels can drop due to a loss of body fluids and salts.

Other symptoms are nausea, fainting and sweating heavily. Anybody suffering from heat exhaustion should be quickly taken to a cool place and given water to drink.

Excess clothing should be removed. Without treatment, there is a risk of developing heatstroke. Heatstroke is when the body is no longer able to cool itself and its temperature become dangerously high.

Symptoms of heatstroke include dry skin, vertigo, confusion, headache, thirst, nausea, rapid shallow breathing and muscle cramps.

Suspected heatstroke should always be regarded as a medical emergency. Dial 999 for an ambulance, then move the person to a cool area, increase ventilation, give them water to drink and shower them with cool (but not cold) water. If this is not possible, cover their body with cool, damp towels or sheets.