Soaring temperatures are a deadly threat, namely because people do not appreciate just how dangerous prolonged sun exposure can be. Sudden deaths often shoot up in places that experience abnormally high heat levels. It is therefore paramount to take precautionary measures, even in the UK. According to Doctor Nighat Arif, one of the most important tips is to think carefully about the time of day you do certain activities.
“The hottest time will be around midday so try not to be out in the sun,” she warned on the BBC.
The problem could be compounded if you go out at this time and do high-intensive activities, such as running, noted Doctor Nighat.
What else does Doctor Nighat advise?
Keep a watchful eye on those most at risk of overheating in the sun, she advised.
High-risk groups include children, elderly, pregnant people, those with underlying heart conditions and cardiovascular problems.
A handy tip to bear in mind throughout the day is to look at where the sun is hitting you, she added.
What about staying cool at night?
Sleep is an ambitious prospect during unseasonably high temperatures but there are some workarounds.
According to Doctor Nighat, wearing cool clothes at nighttime can help the body to regulate temperatures.
It also worth keep a jug of water by your bedside and applying wet flannels, she added.
How to spot heat exhaustion
According to the NHS, heat exhaustion is not usually serious if you can cool down within 30 minutes.
“If it turns into heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency,” warns the health body.
It is therefore paramount to stay alert to the signs of heat exhaustion to stave off the risk of heatstroke.
The signs of heat exhaustion include:
- A headache
- Dizziness and confusion
- Loss of appetite and feeling sick
- Excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin
- Cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- Fast breathing or pulse
- A high temperature of 38C or above
- Being very thirsty.
Heatstroke – how it is established
According to the Mayo Clinic, it’s usually apparent to doctors if you have heatstroke.
However, “laboratory tests can confirm the diagnosis, rule out other causes for your symptoms and assess organ damage”, explains the health body.
These tests include rectal temperature to check your core body temperature, it notes.
“A rectal temperature is the most accurate way of determining your core body temperature and is more accurate than mouth or forehead temperatures.”