The basics of heat related illness.
While on expedition or even in the park on a Sunday afternoon playing with the kids. Heat related illness is a risk that shouldn’t be under estimated. You’ll note that it is call heat related not Sun related. It is often the ambient temperature that is the cause. If the ambient temperature is similar to or above the body’s temperature, then the body may have trouble cooling itself. High humidity may prevent sweat from evaporating, one of the main processes for cooling.
Mild heart related illness often goes undetected and people with headaches after a day running around in the sun; are told to go and sleep it off. Being told “You must be tired!”
Like most things prevention is better than cure. But acting soon is paramount if you suspect a heat related illness.
-Wide brim hat, keeps the direct sun off the top of the head and neck and shoulders.
-Breaks in shade, Give the body a chance to catch up. the temperature difference can be as much as 10 degrees.
-Water little and often. Sip water they will be losing water at a high rate even in humid conditions.
But if your advice goes unheeded you need to be able to recognise the symptoms and treat accordingly. Below is a basic aid to help you recognise what could be going on. But remember to get them to a cooler place and seek medical advice.
Failure of the bodies thermostat to regulate the bodies temperature.
Body heats up rapidly
-Dizzy -move to cool place
-Headache -remove outer clothing
-Body temp 38°c+ -fan and mist
-skin, hot, flushed & Dry -Medical advice if continues
loss of salts and water from body
-Dizziness -replace lost fluids and salts
-Pale and sweating -raise and support legs
Skin burns due to prolonged exposure to sun
-Redness of skin -Shade
-Blister and peeling -Cool area (water or after sun NO oily substances)
-Cool drink (little and often)
Be aware sunburn may lead to heatstroke or heat exhaustion
Heat related illness even happens in the snow!