As Brits the moment the sun comes out from behind the clouds for more than five minutes we have a genetic coding to run inside strip off and bear all to the world. Milk bottle white and definetly no sun cream “I don’t burn I just go a bit red the go brown over night” oh how many times have we heard that……. yep normally said just before you jump into the shower and let out that blood curdling scream as that cooling water hits your skin like a thousand spears.
So what are the dangers? What do you need to be careful if. Most of us know how to deal with the sun burn, but do you know how to recognise or deal with HEAT STROKE or HEAT EXHAUSTION?
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke are two potentially serious conditions that can occur if you get too hot. They usually happen during a heatwave or in a hot climate.
Heat exhaustion is where you become very hot and start to lose water or salt from your body, which leads to the symptoms listed below and generally feeling unwell.
Heatstroke is where the body has lost the ability to cool itself and the body temperature becomes dangerously high. (sunstroke is heatstroke that is caused by prolonged exposure to direct sunlight).
tiredness and weakness
feeling faint or dizzy
a decrease in blood pressure
a fast pulse
feeling and being sick
urinating less often and having much darker urine than usual. If left untreated, more severe symptoms of heatstroke can develop, including confusion, disorientation, seizures (fits) and a loss of consciousness.
What to do
If you notice that someone has signs of heat exhaustion, you should:
get them to lie down in a cool place – such as a room with air conditioning or somewhere in the shade
remove any unnecessary clothing to expose as much of their skin as possible
cool their skin –use whatever you have available, such as a cool, wet sponge or flannel, cold packs around the neck and armpits, or wrap them in a cool, wet sheet
fan their skin while it’s moist – this will help the water to evaporate, which will help their skin cool down
get them to drink fluids – this should ideally be water, fruit juice or a rehydration drink, such as a sports drink
Stay with the person until they’re feeling better. Most people should start to recover within 30 minutes.
If the person is unconscious, you should follow the steps above and place the person in the recovery position and call 999 until help arrives. If they have a seizure, move nearby objects out of the way to prevent injury.
When to get medical help
Severe heat exhaustion or heatstroke requires hospital treatment.
You should call 999 for an ambulance if:
the person doesn’t respond to the above treatment within 30 minutes
the person has severe symptoms, such as a loss of consciousness, confusion or seizures
Continue with the treatment outlined above until the ambulance arrives.
Anyone can develop heat exhaustion or heatstroke during a heatwave or while doing heavy exercise in hot weather. However, some people are at a higher risk.
babies and young children
How to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke
Heat exhaustion and heatstroke can often be prevented by taking sensible precautions when it’s very hot.
During the summer, check for heatwave warnings, so you’re aware when there’s a potential danger.
Stay out of the heat
Keep out of the sun between 11am and 3pm.
If you have to go out in the heat, walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat and light scarf.
Avoid extreme physical exertion.
Wear light, loose-fitting cotton clothes.
If you’re travelling to a hot country, be particularly careful for at least the first few days, until you get used to the temperature.
Cool yourself down
Have plenty of cold drinks, and avoid excess alcohol, caffeine and hot drinks.
Eat cold foods, particularly salads and fruit with a high water content.
Take a cool shower or bath.
Sprinkle water over your skin or clothing, or keep a damp cloth on the back of your neck.
If you’re not urinating frequently or your urine is dark, it’s a sign that you’re becoming dehydrated and need to drink more.
Keep your environment cool
Keep windows and curtains that are exposed to the sun closed during the day, but open windows at night when the temperature has dropped.
If possible, move into a cooler room, especially for sleeping.
Electric fans may provide some relief.
Turn off non-essential lights and electrical equipment, as they generate heat.
Look out for others
Keep an eye on isolated, elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool.
Ensure that babies, children or elderly people are not left alone in stationary cars.
Check on elderly or sick neighbours, family or friends every day during a heatwave.
Be alert and call a doctor or social services if someone is unwell or further help is needed.
Stay safe and enjoy the weather………….