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Top Tips to Spot the Different Heat Related Illnesses

As lovely as it is to have the sun in the sky, extreme heat can cause some serious illness to all members of your family, with those most at risk include older people, very young children and people with pre-existing medical conditions.

Being exposed to high temperatures for a long period can lead to serious health risks, here are some of the most common heat-related illnesses and symptoms to spot them: –

Heat Cramps

This is when you get cramping usually in the abdomen, arms and calf’s areas and is when the muscle spasms as a result of dehydration and loss of loss of large amount of salt in the body.


Heat Rash

Also, sometimes known as prickly heat, is when small, red, itchy papules spot like marks appear on your skin, as the body is exposed to really hot and humid conditions. Anyone can get this although babies and children under 4 are more prone to heat rash.


Heat Oedema

This is when your body has too much salt and not enough water due to dehydration and results in swelling, usually in the ankles.


Heat Exhaustion

This is when you are very tired, weak and possibly collapse / lose consciousness, due to exposure to excessive or unaccustomed heat and is sometimes accompanied by dehydration. You can also have symptoms of excessive thirst, vomiting and headaches. If not treated, heat exhaustion can evolve into heatstroke.



This is essentially when your body overheats, typically due to prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion in high temperatures and is the most serious of all heat related illnesses. The symptoms can include things like confusion, disorientation, convulsions, unconsciousness, hot dry skin and extremely high body temperature over 40ºC for a continued length of time. Ultimately this condition can be fatal and therefore Emergency medical treatment has to be sort.


Top Tips to Keep Safe in Extreme Hot Weather

All these conditions can be prevented and treated and here are a few top tips on how to keep safe in Extreme Hot Weather: –

  • Stay Out of the Heat – Stay indoors as much as you can, especially between midday and 3pm and avoid over heating by not taking part in any excessive physical activities. Keep your indoor rooms cool by turning off lights and electrical items that give off heat, keep curtains/ blinds closed and leave a bowl of water in a room so it can evaporate into the air.
  • Keep Cool – Use Electric Fans or Air Conditioners to cool the room however remember they do also give off some heat so open windows at the same time. Keep rooms ventilated leaving doors and windows open where you can.
  • Use Sunscreens – Before heading out make sure you use a sun screen or sun blocks to help prevent getting sunburn and don’t forget your lips and ears!
  • Cover Up – Wear loose-fitting clothes, wear a hat with wide brims to shade your head and sunglasses to protect your eyes
  • Keep Hydrated – Make sure you drink loads of water; ice lollies are a great way of getting fluids into the elderly or young children who struggle to drink loads.
  • Look Out for Others – Keep an eye on the elderly, ill or very young people and make sure they are able to keep cool. Make sure that babies, children or elderly people (or pets!) are not left alone in stationary cars
  • Cool Washing – Good for heat rash is washing affected areas with cool water and mild soap, also taking a cool shower is good for cooling the body temperature down
  • Medicine – Paracetamol / Calpol is fab for lowering high temperatures and helping headaches. It is always wise to keep written down dosage and times taken so if needed you have that at hand to inform a doctor and too ideal for preventing overdosing!

It goes without saying that if anyone feels unwell or starts to display any symptoms you should contact your doctor for them to medically assess and treat.





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