With many people going on holiday or spending time in the hot weather over the coming months, North Lincolnshire Council’s Public Health team is raising awareness of heat exhaustion and heat stroke to ensure they have a safe and enjoyable summer.
Heat exhaustion is when a person a person feels fatigue due to a drop in blood pressure that is caused by a loss of body fluids and salts after being exposed to heat for a long period of time.
If you are suffering from heat exhaustion, you may feel sick and nauseated, feel faint or sweat heavily. Find somewhere cool and drink water. After a few hours, you should start to feel better. If you ignore the symptoms, heat exhaustion may develop into heat stroke.
Heat stroke is a more serious condition and happens when the body’s temperature becomes too high due to excessive heat exposure. The body is no longer able to cool itself and begins to overheat.
“While everyone looks forward to going away on holiday or enjoying a bit of sunshine at home, we all need to be sensible and exercise some caution in order to make the most of the good weather,” explained Dr Faisel Baig, a Scunthorpe GP and lead clinician for Unplanned Care with North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group. “Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are extremely unpleasant and if left untreated, can become serious. It doesn’t even have to be particularly sunny for this to happen and it certainly isn’t limited to holidays abroad so please take care if you are out and about, especially if you are working outdoors, gardening or being active during the summer.”
Signs to look out for:
Cramping (especially in the legs) – this is due to the body losing salt and electrolytes
Red, hot and dry skin
How to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke:
Stay ultra-hydrated; water is good for keeping you hydrated but drinks with added electrolytes such as PowerAde are useful because they help replace salt and retain fluid
Know the signs
If possible, avoid the midday sun between 11am and 2pm
Wear sunscreen/sunblock and keep topped up throughout the day and always reapply when in and out of the water
Find somewhere cool if you start to feel too hot; moving into the shade of having a cool shower/bath or dampening your skin with cool water using a flannel or towel will help you cool down if you overheat
Councillor Rob Waltham, cabinet member for Health and Strategic Projects, said: “Heat exhaustion and heat stroke can be very serious conditions if they aren’t treated quickly. People should make sure they are aware of the symptoms and know how to treat them. We want everyone to enjoy their summer and not end up in hospital because they have spent too much time in the heat.
“Heat stroke and exhaustion can affect anyone but some people are more at risk than others. It tends to affect older people, babies and young children, and people with long-term health conditions such as diabetes. People in these categories should take extra care to avoid spending lengthy periods of time in the heat and ensure they are hydrated.”
If you think you or someone you know is experiencing heat stroke, do not delay in seeking medical help. For more details about staying safe during the summer, visit Click here