Brits are being urged to take care of themselves this week as a heatwave is expected to boil certain parts of the country.

Heatwaves can cause serious medical emergencies, as seen in parts of Europe over the past few months.

It is well known that staying in the sun for too long can cause health problems, such as sunburn, but there is still a risk of becoming ill from the heat - even if you remain indoors.

Heat exhaustion does not usually need emergency medical help if you can cool down within 30 minutes. If it turns into a heatstroke, it needs to be treated as an emergency.

Heatstroke is a condition that occurs when the body can no longer regulate its temperature due to overheating.

Here is what the NHS say you should do:

Check for signs of heat exhaustion

The signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • tiredness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • excessive sweating and skin becoming pale and clammy or getting a heat rash, but a change in skin colour can be harder to see on brown and black skin
  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
  • fast breathing or heartbeat
  • a high temperature
  • being very thirsty
  • weakness

The symptoms of heat exhaustion are often the same in adults and children, although children may become irritable too.

If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion they need to be cooled down and given fluids.

Things you can do to cool someone down

If someone has heat exhaustion, follow these 4 steps:

  1. Move them to a cool place.
  2. Remove all unnecessary clothing like a jacket or socks.
  3. Get them to drink a sports or rehydration drink, or cool water.
  4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs, wrapped in a cloth and put under the armpits or on the neck are good too.


Stay with them until they're better.

They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes.