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The warm weather, whilst being a time to enjoy ourselves, can also present a danger to our health and cause us some problems. Below are some warm weather conditions that you can learn how to deal with should you come across them. 



Heat Rash 

Heat rash consists of small red spots or raised bumps that can cause a stinging or prickling feeling on the skin, sometimes called prickly heat. It occurs when sweat glands are blocked due to the casualty sweating more than normal. It can appear anywhere on the body, but usually appears on the face, chest, back and thighs. 

What to look out for

  • a rash of tiny red spots, blisters or bumps    
  • a prickling or burning feeling on their skin 
  • itchy skin 
  • redness and mild swelling. 

What to do 

Follow the steps below:

Step 1

If they have these symptoms, the rash is not serious and should go in a few days. Tell them to drink lots of water to prevent them becoming dehydrated. 

Step 2

Take a cool bath or shower to cool the skin and prevent further sweating. 

  • Do not use perfumed shower gels or creams as this could irritate the skin. 
Step 3

Apply a cold ice pack wrapped in a tea towel for up to 10 minutes. 

Step 4

Wear lose clothing, preferably made of cotton, which will not trap the heat as much as synthetic fibres. 

Step 5

Suggest they avoid excessive heat such as a fire, heater or sitting in the sun, to prevent aggravating the rash. 

Step 6

Advise them to see a pharmacist or healthcare professional for further treatment if required. 

  • They may prescribe calamine lotion, an antihistamine or low strength hydrocortisone cream. 
Step 7

If they are concerned or unwell, seek medical advice. 



Dehydration 

Dehydration occurs when someone loses fluid from the body and does not replace it. If untreated, someone with dehydration can develop heat exhaustion. 


What to look out for

  • a headache or light-headedness 
  • dizziness or confusion 
  • a dry mouth and dry eyes 
  • dry or cracked lips 
  • reduced amounts of dark urine
  • muscle cramps, such as to the calves. 

Special attention should be paid to babies and young children as they may also have pale skin with sunken eyes and can deteriorate very quickly. 

What to do 

Follow the steps below:

Step 1

Reassure the casualty and help them to sit down. 

Step 2

Give them plenty of water. You can also use an oral rehydration solution. These can help to replace fluid as well as the correct salt and other minerals they’ve lost. 

  • Do not mix regular cooking salt into water and give it to the casualty, this will make the condition worse. 
Step 3

If they have any painful cramps, encourage them to rest. Help them to stretch and massage the muscles that are affected. 

Step 4

Monitor the casualty’s level of response. 

  • If the casualty appears to be unwell, seek medical advice. 


Heat Exhaustion 

Heat exhaustion is caused by a loss of salt and water, usually through excessive sweating. It develops slowly and usually happens to people who aren’t used to hot, humid weather. 


What to look out for

  • a headache, dizziness and confusion 
  • a loss of appetite and feeling sick 
  • sweat with pale, clammy skin 
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach  
  • a fast, weakening pulse and breathing

What to do

Follow the steps below:

Step 1

Help the casualty to a cool place, out of the sun and encourage them to lie down with their legs raised and supported. 

Step 2

You then need to give them lots of water to drink. 

  • You could also give them an isotonic sports drink or oral rehydration solution, to help replace the salt and fluid they have lost though sweating. 
  • Do not mix regular cooking salt into water and give it to them to drink, this will make their condition worse
Step 3

Monitor their level of response. Even if they recover quickly, suggest they seek medical advice. 

  • If their condition seems to be getting worse, call 999/112 for emergency help


Heat Stroke 

Heatstroke is caused by a failure of the ‘thermostat’ in the brain which regulates the body’s temperature. This means the body is unable to cool down when it becomes too hot. 

It could be caused by spending too much time in the sun, having a high fever, or from taking non-prescription drugs such as Ecstasy. It can also occur after heat exhaustion when sweating ceases. 

Your priority is to cool them down as quickly as possible and get them to hospital. 


What to look out for

  • headache, dizziness and discomfort    
  • they may be restless and confused    
  • hot, flushed and dry skin
  • becoming less responsive quickly  
  • pulse that’s full and bounding    
  • body temperature above 40°C (104°F)

What to do

Follow the steps below:

Step 1

Quickly move the casualty to a cool place and remove as much of their outer clothing as you can. Call 999 or 112 for emergency help. 

Step 2

Help them to sit down in a comfortable, supported position. Wrap them in a cool, wet sheet and keep pouring cold water over the sheet until their temperature falls to at least 37.5°C (measured under the armpit). 

If a sheet is not available, fan them or sponge them down with cold water. 

Step 3

Once their temperature has come down to normal, replace the wet sheet with a dry one. 

Step 4

While waiting for help to arrive, monitor their level of response and temperature.  

  • If their temperature starts to increase cool them down again using the same method. 
  • If they become unresponsive at any point, open their airway, check their breathing and prepare to give CPR.

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