To help prevent heat exhaustion or heat stroke:
- drink plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising
- take cool baths or showers
- wear light-coloured, loose clothing
- sprinkle water over skin or clothes
- seek shade from the sun between 11am and 3pm
- keep an eye on children, the elderly and people with long-term health conditions (like diabetes or heart problems) because they're more at risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke
The signs of heat exhaustion include:
- a headache
- dizziness and confusion
- loss of appetite and feeling sick
- excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
- cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- fast breathing or pulse
- a temperature of 38C or above
- intense thirst
The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although children may become floppy and sleepy.
What to do if you notice signs of heat exhaustion:
- Take care to protect children (and adults) from the heat.
- It is not only outside that heat exhaustion and heat stroke can happen. Any environment that is too warm can lead to these conditions. Your car is one such place.
- If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion they need to be cooled down immediately. You should:
- Get them to rest in a cool place, ideally in a room with air conditioning, or at least somewhere that is in the shade.
- Give them plenty of fluids to drink. This should either be water or a rehydration drink such as a sports drink. Avoid alcohol or caffeine as this can increase dehydration.
- Cool their skin with cold water.
- If available, use a shower or cold bath to cool them down. If not, then apply wet flannels to their skin.
- Loosen any unnecessary clothing, and make sure that the person gets plenty of air.
- Call an ambulance (999 or 112) if the person shows sign of heatstroke. These include the person
- feeling no better after 30 minutes
- feeling hot and dry
- not sweating even though they are too hot
- having a temperature that's risen to 40C or above
- having rapid breathing or being short of breath
- being confused
- having a fit (seizure)
- losing consciousness
- becoming unresponsive