Sunstroke and heatstroke

Summer in Australia can have its hazards in relation to extreme heat! A few years ago I suffered from a bad case of sunstroke and thought I was going to die! Luckily I recognised what was happening to me and took the appropriate measures, however, it still took 24 hours for me to recover. Now it´s time for you to know how to prevent a Heatstroke during heat waves.

It’s so important to monitor our time and exposure out in the sun … especially for children playing out in the sun, to keep an eye on them and make sure they do not experience sunstroke or heatstroke. For adults as well, whether it be gardening or just walking around shopping in the streets, it does not take long for the body to overheat and dehydrate.

Here are the symptoms of sunstroke and heatstroke to look out for, for prevention:

  • Head and body feels boiling hot and looks red
  • Extreme thirst
  • Headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness and disorientation
  • Loss of energy / fatigue
  • Problems with speech
  • Loss of appetite
  • Unconsciousness (in extreme cases)

What you should do when somebody is having a Sunstroke. Follow the action plan below:

  • Remove the person or child from the heat and sun, find a cool, shady spot to lie down
  • Remove any restrictive clothing and cool the body as quickly as possible (could use wet sheets, a hose, cold bath, or just splash the body with water, and a fan)
  • Drink cool water, at least 1 litre
  • Call an ambulance if severe
  • Aspirin can help take down swelling

Prevention is the Key to Heatstroke and Sunstroke

  • It’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecasts and plan ahead.
    If the weather is going to be extremely hot, think twice about going out and exposing your children or yourself to the heat. This includes animals and pets. Obviously never leave children or pets in the car alone.
  • Dress in light colours and use cotton fabrics not synthetic material that does not breath.
  • Always take a wide brimmed hat, block out creams and appropriate water bottles that stay cool.
  • Provide healthy snacks such as fruit and juices to keep hydrated and the energy levels high.
  • Use esky’s in the car to keep drinks cool.
  • Essential oil sprays are also a good idea to cool the face down.

    Take care of your family this summer and avoid sunstroke and heatstroke. It’s just not worth the risk.

Also read: “Nothing to sneeze at” Hay fever season has arrived.



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