During a heatwave, you are more likely to develop a heat-related illness, like heat stress, and can become unwell much quicker.
Heat-related stress is a serious medical condition and if not spotted early and managed properly, can potentially develop into life-threatening illness (heat-stroke).
The early symptoms of heat-related stress include:
- nausea and vomiting.
In babies, signs of heat stress include irritability, restlessness and a reduced number of wet nappies.
If you have a medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease and if you take certain medications, heat can make your symptoms worse.
Hot tip! The best way to prevent heat stress is to drink plenty of water and to stay as cool as possible. Always have your water bottle with you and keep out of the sun in the hottest part of the day.
Who is most vulnerable?
A heatwave can affect anyone, but the most vulnerable people are:
- young children and babies
- older people
- pregnant women
- obese individuals
- disabled individuals, particularly those with impaired mobility
- individuals on medications which promote fluid loss or reduce sweating (talk to your GP about this)
- individuals with pre-existing cardiovascular and/or respiratory disease
- individuals who exercise or work outdoors
- people who are socially isolated (e.g. homeless people)
- people who are not acclimatised to heat (e.g. overseas visitors)
Hot tip! During extreme heat conditions, check on others to see if they are okay, particularly those most at risk of heat-related illness.