Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are two potential life-threatening conditions that can affect you and your family members during the hot days of summer. Both these illnesses are preventable, therefore it is important to be able to identify the warning signs and symptoms and take immediate action.
The difference: Heat exhaustion is when your body starts to lose an excessive about of water and salt, whereas heatstroke is the result of untreated heat exhaustion.
To avoid developing heatstroke, here are the signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion you should be looking out for:
- Feeling generally unwell
- Heavy sweating
- Intense thirst
In a situation where you notice that either yourself, or one of your kids, is showing signs of heat exhaustion you should immediately take the following steps:
- Move them into a cool place and get them to lie down
- Cool their skin by wrapping them in a cold towel or sheet
- Remove any unnecessary clothing
- Get them to drink fluids, such as water, sports drinks, or juice
The goal of all these steps is to lower the body’s temperature. If you do not see the person start to recover or if they lose consciousness, you must call for emergency help.
Although anyone can suffer from heat exhaustion or heat stroke, if you are prepared they are easy to avoid. Always remember for you and your kids to take breaks for the heat and be mindful of what your body is telling you!