Heatstroke WARNING: Five signs a person needs emergency medical attention warns Dr Hilary

Heatstroke is a serious condition caused by the body overheating, and usually occurs as a result of prolonged exposure to high temperatures or physical exertion. The condition can be life-threatening, so it’s important to recognise the symptoms. To outline the signs to look out for, Dr Hilary Jones took to ITV’s Lorraine. If you or someone else experiences the following symptoms you should call 999.

Heatstroke – that’s an emergency. You can’t sweat any more, the skin stops being clammy and it starts to get really hot

Dr Hilary Jones

Dr Hilary said: “Heatstroke – that’s an emergency. You can’t sweat any more, the skin stops being clammy and it starts to get really hot.”

The TV doctor added that being dehydrated, and experiencing headaches and cramps are other symptoms associated with the condition.

Heatstroke symptoms

  • No sweating
  • Skin stops being clammy and feels really hot
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Cramps

Heatstroke can also lead to seizures, and people can lose consciousness and become unresponsive.

Heat exhaustion isn’t considered as serious as heatstroke, but it’s still important to recognise the symptoms as it can lead to heatstroke.

Dr Hilary said you may experience feeling tired and have cramps with heat exhaustion.

A person with a temperature of 38C or above may also have heat exhaustion, but if you cool down within 30 minutes, Dr Hilary said you’re OK.

He added: “Move to the shade to cool down.”

How to keep cool

With temperatures predicted to reach 39C in some areas of the UK today, Dr Hilary offered advise on how to stay cool:

  • Use a water spray and a fan to cool skin down
  • Drink plenty of fluids – and extra if you’re exercising
  • Eat high water content foods such as celery, watermelon and salads
  • Wear loose, light-coloured clothing as this reflects heat
  • Shower in water cooler than your body temperature
  • Put your wrists under a cool tap
  • Put ice packs under your armpits

Dr Hilary further advised: “Babies and the elderly can’t control temperatures as much as adults and older children, so keep them out the sun.”

He added avoiding going out during the hottest part of the day, between 11am and 3pm, and using paddling pools, a cool bath or swimming pools to help cool down.

Dr Hilary said: “It’s important for children and elderly to take special care.”

How to sleep in the heat

High temperatures can make getting to sleep very difficult, but Dr Hilary offered some tips for keeping cool at night.

He said: “Keep the bedroom cool, keep curtains closed during the day, and close the windows as well if it’s warm outside.

“Drink plenty, have drinks by your bed – not alcoholic drinks are they’re diuretics.”

Using cotton bedsheets can also help you keep cool, and cooling pillows and white noise devices that block out unpleasant sounds like cars could also help you get the sleep you need.

Here are seven other ways you can feel cooler in bed during a heatwave.

Here are seven other ways to feel cooler in a heatwave. 

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