Most of us enjoy sunny weather, but extreme heat can seriously damage your health. During a heatwave, when temperatures stay really high day after day, it can sometimes be fatal.
In a severe heatwave you may get dehydrated and your body may overheat. If you already have a heart or respiratory problem, this may make your symptoms worse. Additionally, it can cause heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Keeping yourself cool will reduce the risk of illness. If you start to feel unwell, it is important to seek medical advice as soon as possible.
The symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
You should move somewhere cool and drink plenty of water of fruit juice. If you can, take a lukewarm shower, or sponger yourself down with cold water.
Heatstroke can develop if heat exhaustion is left untreated, but it can also occur suddenly and without warning. Symptoms include:
Heatstroke can result in irreversible damage to your body, including the brain, or death.
The heat can affect anyone, but some people run a greater risk of serious harm. These include:
Mostly it's a matter of common sense. Listen to your local weather forecast so you know if a heatwave is on the way. Plan ahead to reduce the risk of ill health from the heat.
For more information and advice, download one of the NHS guidance documents.
|NHS Direct:||0845 46 47|