July 2019

Heat Exhaustion

and Heatstroke

Heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into heatstroke it needs to be treated as an emergency.

Check for signs of heat exhaustion

The signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • 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

  • temperature of 38C or above

  • being very thirsty


The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although children may become floppy and sleepy.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion they need to be cooled down.

Things you can do to cool someone down

Follow these 4 steps:

  1. Move them to a cool place.

  2. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.

  3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.

  4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good too.


Stay with them until they are better.


They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.

When is immediate action required?


Call for assistance if the person:

  • is no better after 30 minutes

  • feels hot and dry

  • is not sweating even though they are too hot

  • has a temperature that's risen to 40C or above

  • has rapid or shortness of breath

  • is confused

  • has a fit (seizure)

  • loses consciousness

  • is unresponsive


These can be signs of heatstroke.


While you wait for help, keep giving first aid and put them in

the recovery position if they lose consciousness.

Preventing heat exhaustion and heatstroke

There is a high risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke during hot weather or exercise.

To help prevent heat exhaustion or heatstroke:

  • drink plenty of cold drinks, especially when exercising

  • take cool baths or showers

  • wear light-coloured, loose clothing

  • sprinkle water over skin or clothes

  • avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm

  • avoid excess alcohol

  • avoid extreme exercise


This will also prevent dehydration and help your body keep itself cool.

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Angels Nursing Group

Tel:   (0034) 902 02 64 68/647 407 455

Angels Nursing Group S.L, Los Carasoles 27, Zurgena, 04650, Almeria - C.I.F B04762712