Heat stroke – 9 signs your child is at risk during UK heatwave and when to call 999 – The Sun

WITH the UK enjoying hot weather, many will head to the beach, park or garden to bask in the sun.

But with temperatures still hot following yesterday's sweltering highs, health officials have warned how to stay safe.

People need to be on high alert for the first signs of deadly heat stroke and heat exhaustion, experts say.

Joe Mulligan, head of first aid education at the British Red Cross, told The Sun there are simple steps people can take to make sure they, and their family, stay safe.

He said: "Whether a summer heatwave fills you with excitement or concerns, overheating in this hot weather can be dangerous.

"Evidence shows that the number of people visiting their GP for heat-related illness can double during a heatwave.

Avoiding going out in the sun at the hottest time of the day, drinking plenty of water and even wearing a hat on hot days can all make a real difference

"Many heat-related illnesses occur because someone has been in the heat too long, or has over exerted without drinking enough fluid.

"During this period of soaring temperatures everyone can take simple steps to stay safe.

"Avoiding going out in the sun at the hottest time of the day, drinking plenty of water and even wearing a hat on hot days can all make a real difference."

What are the signs of killer heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a potentially life-threatening side effect of enjoying the glorious weather.

Sitting out in the sun for too long can cause the body to overheat and trigger heat stroke.

It happens when someone gets so hot their body can't control their temperature.

It's much less common than sunburn, and is very serious…you must get medical help straight away if you suspect a loved one is suffering it.

In children the symptoms can include:

1. Becoming floppy and sleeping

2. Hot, flushed and dry skin

3. A headache, feeling dizzy or be confused and restless

4. Fast breathing and heartbeat

5. Seizures

6. Little or no sweating

7. Body temperature rises to 40.5C or higher

8. Loss of consciousness or passing out

9. Get worse quickly and become unresponsive

What should you do?

  • dial 999 IMMEDIATELY, or get someone else to
  • cool them down
  • quickly move them into a cooler environment
  • remove their outer clothing
  • wrap them in a cold, wet sheet
  • keep pouring water over them
  • keep cooling them while waiting for help to arrive
  • if their temperature returns to normal and they no longer feel hot to touch, you can stop cooling them

What about heat exhaustion?

Heat exhaustion happens when someone loses too much fluid and salt, from sweating buckets in the hot conditions.

Signs you, or your child, are suffering include:

  • feeling dizzy or confused
  • complaining of a headache
  • sweating
  • pale, cool skin
  • feeling nauseous

If you suspect you, or a loved one, has been struck with heat exhaustion you should:

  • help them to a cool place
  • let them rest – this will also help them start to cool down
  • give them plenty of water to drink
  • isotonic sports drinks are even better, as they help replace the salts lost through sweating
  • book to see your GP or dial NHS 111
  • if their condition gets worse, dial 999 immediately

Public Health England's tips on staying safe in the heat

  • Look out for others, especially older people, young children and babies and those with underlying health conditions
  • Close curtains on rooms that face the sun to keep indoor spaces cooler and remember it may be cooler outdoors than indoors
  • Drink plenty of water as sugary, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks can make you more dehydrated
  • Never leave anyone in a closed, parked vehicle, especially infants, young children or animals
  • Try to keep out of the sun between 11am to 3pm
  • Take care and follow local safety advice, if you are going into the water to cool down
  • Walk in the shade, apply sunscreen and wear a hat, if you have to go out in the heat
  • Avoid physical exertion in the hottest parts of the day
  • Wear light, loose fitting cotton clothes
  • Make sure you take water with you if you are travelling

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