5 Heatwave First Aid Tips

With the heatwave across the UK still ongoing, there are many health risks when the temperature is too hot. So here are 5 points to help you deal with the scorching temperatures!

Dehydration

Dehydration means that your body is losing more fluid than you are taking in. if it isn’t treated it can get worse and become a serious problem. In the heat it is extremely important to drink plenty of water, even if you don’t feel thirsty. The first sign of dehydration is thirst. But there are many other symptoms which include:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness or light headed
  • Dry mouth and eyes
  • Cracked lips or dry lips
  • Producing reduced amounts of dark urine.

How to treat dehydration

  • Help them sit down
  • Give them plenty of water
  • Suggest that they rest and stretch if they have cramp
  • If they are unwell, seek medical advice

Fainting

If you do feel faint in the heat you should lie down, keeping you head low and your legs raised. If you are unable to lie down sit down and put your head between your knees. Here are a few points on what to look for if someone is about to faint:

  • They have a slow pulse
  • They have pale cold skin and are sweating
  • There could be a brief loss of response, making them fall to the ground

How to treat someone that has just fainted:

  • Kneel down beside them and raise their legs on your shoulders, look at their face to see if there is any signs of recovery
  • Get people to stand back and make sure the individual has enough fresh air
  • Once they feel better help them sit up slowly.
  • If they are still unresponsive, open their airway and put their head back and check their breathing and prepare yourself to treat an unresponsive adult.

Sunburn

Everyone was that nice sunkissed skin, but staying out too long in the sun can be extremely dangerous for your skin, to help wear light clothing to help protect your skin. Here are some points on what to look for if you are sunburnt:

  • Skin may become red
  • The area that has been burnt may become very painful
  • Later on blistering may occur on the damaged skin.

How to treat sunburn

  • Protect the skin by wearing light clothing
  • Move out of the sun
  • Cool the skin by putting cool water on it
  • Put after sun lotion on the mild burn, if it starts to blister get medical advice.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is not that serious and it will normally get better when you cool down. If heat exhaustion turns into heat stroke that is when it is treated as an emergency. Here are the signs of heat exhaustion:

  • They may have headaches, dizziness and confusion
  • They may feel sick and have a loss of appetite
  • They may look pale, excessive sweating
  • They may have a weak or rapid pulse
  • They may have cramps in the arms, legs or stomach

How to treat Heat Exhaustion

  • Move them to a cool place
  • Help them to lie down then raise their legs into the air
  • Make sure they have plenty of water
  • Cool their skin with a sponge or place a fan directing them
  • Monitor their level of response and suggest medical advice if there is no improvement.

Heatstroke

Heatstroke happens when your body temperature increases quickly and you’re unable to cool down. It can be life-threatening by causing damage to your brain and other vital organs. Here is what to look out for:

  • They talk about having headaches, dizziness or discomfort
  • They become restless and confused
  • They have flushed skin
  • They have rapid breathing
  • Their temperature is above 40°C (104°F).

How to treat Heat Stroke

  • Instantly move them into a cooler place and call 999
  • Remove outer layers of clothing
  • Wet a sheet and put that around the individual, in order to lower their temperature to 37.5ºC
  • Keep an eye on their temperature
  • Keep an eye on their response level

We hope these heatwave first aid tips will give you reassurance when having fun in the sun! For more information we run a number of first aid courses, online or classroom based for more information visit our website https://www.themidlandstrainingcompany.co.uk/first-aid-2/.

 

 

 

 

 

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