Our bodies can overheat to dangerously high temperatures when we are active in hot or humid conditions for extended periods of time. Our bodies’ ability to cool down can be compromised due to dehydration, sunburn, and alcohol consumption. This can lead to heat exhaustion and sunstroke, which can be fatal if untreated.

WHAT IS SUNSTROKE?

Sunstroke or heatstroke is an acute, life-threatening condition where the body overheats and is unable to cool itself down due to prolonged exposure to high temperature rises to 40°C or higher, which can damage major organs.

WHAT IS HEAT EXHAUSTION?

Heat exhaustion usually precedes sunstroke and is characterised by weakness (due to massive loss of fluids and salt through excessive sweating), clammy skin, a weak, rapid pulse, and dizziness.

Children and older people are at greater risk of heat exhaustion, as well as those who are:

  • Overweight
  • Diabetic
  • Not used to hot/humid weather
  • Suffering from certain circulatory conditions, such as high blood pressure and kidney problems

SEEK MEDICAL HELP IF THE PERSON:

  • Is a child or an older person
  • Becomes confused
  • Has seizures or loses consciousness