Heatstroke is the most serious illness caused by heat and must be treated as a medical emergency.
Some of the symptoms – like high body temperature, excessive sweating and headaches – are fairly well known.
However, there are some signs that are a little more unusual, including restlessness, irritability, and slurred speech.
The bizarre behavior could mean someone needs to see a doctor ASAP.
Failure to do so can result in permanent disability or death, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns.
The most common symptoms of heat stroke to look out for are:
- Very high body temperature (over 40 °C)
- Altered state of mind
- slurred speech
- Hot, dry skin or profuse sweating
- nausea and vomiting
- Rapid breathing
- Racing heart rate
These usually occur after milder heat exhaustion, which the NHS says doesn’t require emergency help if you can cool down within 30 minutes.
However, if you think someone might be suffering from heat stroke, call 999.
Then urgent measures should be taken to bring their temperature down. The NHS says you should:
- Bring them to a cool place.
- Remove any unnecessary clothing such as jackets or socks.
- Ask her to drink a sports or rehydration drink or cool water.
- Cool your skin – spray or wipe with cold water and fan out. Cold packs, which you wrap in a cloth and place under your armpits or on your neck, are also good.
- Stay with them until they get better.
In hot weather there is a high risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke – and temperatures are expected to hit 30C this weekend.
It will be so warm that authorities have issued six yellow heat warnings across much of England.
The Met Office and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) warn that health and social services could face significant strains.
Those most at risk are those over the age of 65 or those with pre-existing conditions such as respiratory and heart problems.
Interiors could also get “very warm”.
The yellow warning applies to London, the South East, the East Midlands, the West Midlands, the East of England, Yorkshire and the Humber.
It comes into effect on July 7 at 12 p.m. and ends on July 9 at 9 a.m.
Fortunately, there are some ways to reduce your risk of heat-related illness.
The NHS says you should drink more fluids, wear light-colored, loose clothing and avoid the sun between 11am and 3pm.
It is also recommended to avoid excessive alcohol consumption and extreme physical activity and to stay in the shade whenever possible.
Children, the elderly, and those with long-term health problems (such as diabetes or heart problems) are at a higher risk of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.
How to stay safe in hot weather
- Check with family, friends, and neighbors who may be at higher risk of being unwell, and ask them to do the same for you if you are at higher risk
- Know the symptoms of heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do if you or someone else is affected
- Stay out of the sun during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm
- If you plan to do any physical activity (like exercising or walking the dog), schedule it at times of the day when it’s cooler, such as morning or evening
- Keep your home cool by closing windows and curtains in rooms that face the sun
- When going outside, cover yourself with appropriate clothing such as a suitable hat and sunglasses, seek shade, and apply sunscreen regularly
- Drink plenty of fluids and limit your alcohol consumption