Heat exhaustion is how the body responds to losing water and body salts through extreme sweating, which can happen if you work or exercise in very hot conditions. It is not a serious condition but needs to be treated quickly before it turns into heat stroke which is a much more serious condition.

Signs of heat exhaustion

  • Not feeling hungry and nausea
  • Clammy and pale skin
  • Fast pulse and breathing
  • Cramp in legs, arms and stomach
  • Very thirsty
  • Headache, dizziness and confusion
  • Temperature goes above 38°C
  • Limp and sleepy (in cases of children)

How to treat heat exhaustion

Cool the person down by following these steps:

  • Move the person to a cool place
  • Remove unnecessary clothing
  • Lie them down with feet raised slightly
  • Drink lots of water or rehydration / sports drinks
  • Cool their skin by spraying or sponging them with cool water and using a fan
  • Stay with the person until they are feeling better, which can take up to half an hour
  • If the person becomes unresponsive they may have heat stroke which is an emergency situation. Put them in the recovery position and call the emergency services straight away.

Take care during periods of hot weather especially while exercising and remember to drink plenty of cold drinks to keep hydrated.

If you would like to learn more we hold regular First Aid At Work courses in central Cardiff. There are two levels of courses available depending on the level of risk in your workplace. Click these links to find out the dates of upcoming courses and to book places online:

Alternatively, many employers prefer First Aid training to be carried out at their own workplace so we can provide a quote for us to come to you.

Here's how to get in touch and find out more information:

St David’s First Aid Training – keeping you safe and legal.