Drowsiness/Unconsciousness and hot dry skin are definite indicators of heat stroke. This is an Emergency. You should ring Emergency 000 immediately and ask for an Ambulance.
During an extreme heatwave, members of the public become more vulnerable to heat stress as a result of the hot weather.
Below are some tips on how to avoid heat stress, what to watch out for, and how to help someone experiencing heat stress.
- Avoid dehydration. Drink plenty of cool fluids, preferably water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink;
- Avoid drinking alcohol, tea and coffee because these will cause dehydration;
- Wear light-coloured, loose fitting clothing where possible. Don’t overdress;
- NEVER leave children alone in a car, even for a very short time. The inside temperature can become life-threatening within MINUTES;
- Avoid any strenuous outdoor activities, especially when the sun is strongest between the hours of 11.00am and 3.00pm;
- The most vulnerable to heat stress are the young and the elderly. People with illnesses and chronic conditions and pregnant women may also need more care and monitoring during hot weather.
- If outside, make sure you always wear a shirt and hat – even if you are swimming; and
- Use plenty of sunscreen when outside and reapply regularly.
- Feeling faint;
- Loss of appetite;
- Headache; and
- Try to get the person to a cooler environment;
- Lay the person down;
- Cool them by applying cool, wet towels around the neck and underarms;
- If conscious, give cool fluids (preferably water) to drink; and
- Visit your GP or walk-in clinic.