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  • Sharon Burbidge

Do you know the signs of heat exhaustion?

With the recent heatwaves in the UK, heat exhaustion is becoming more commonplace yet many people are unaware of the signs of heat exhaustion. This condition is not usually serious if you are able to cool down within half an hour, however it can develop into heatstroke if not properly treated. If you suspect you or anyone else has signs of heatstroke, immediate action must be taken.


The signs of heat exhaustion:

  • A high temperature of 38 degrees or above

  • Excessive sweating yet the skin looks pale and feels clammy

  • Feeling very thirsty

  • Having a racing pulse and fast breathing

  • Having a headache or feeling dizzy or confused

  • Losing your appetite and feeling sick

  • Having cramps in your arms, legs or stomach

What should you do to help?

  • Move them to a cool place to help lower their body temperature

  • Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly, encouraging blood circulation to the brain

  • Help to rehydrate them with plenty of cool but not cold water (using cold water may cool their body temperature too rapidly, leading to shock)

  • Attempt to cool them further by spraying them with cool water or using a fan on them

  • Make sure to stay with them until they show signs of feeling better

If they don't start to cool down or feel better within 30 minutes, they may be suffering with heat stroke. Call 999 and arrange emergency medical care.


The signs of heatstroke:

  • Not sweating, even while feeling too hot

  • A high temperature of 40 degrees or above

  • Fast breathing and shortness of breath

  • Having a seizure

  • Being non-responsive

  • Losing consciousness

Heatstroke can be very serious if not treated quickly so immediate action must be taken if you suspect someone is suffering with heatstroke. Call 999 and follow their instructions until medical care arrives, staying with the casualty. Put the person in the recovery position if they lose consciousness whilst waiting for help.


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