Heat exhaustion is caused by a loss of salt and water from the
body, usually through excessive sweating.
It develops slowly and usually happens to people who aren’t used
to hot, humid weather. People who are unwell are more likely to get
it, especially if they are suffering from vomiting and
A dangerous and common cause of heat exhaustion is when the body
produces more heat than it can cope with.
This can happen when someone takes a non-prescription drug, like
ecstasy, which can stop the body from regulating its temperature
properly. If someone gets hot and sweats a lot from dancing as
well, they may get overheated and dehydrated, giving them heat
If treated quickly, someone suffering from heat exhaustion
should start feeling better quickly. But if not treated, they could
develop heatstroke which can lead to
Watch our video - heat exhaustion
What to look for - Heat exhaustion
These are the six key things to look for:
- 1. Headache
- 2. Dizziness and confusion
- 3. Loss of appetite and feeling sick
- 4. Sweating with pale clammy skin
- 5. Cramps in the arms, legs and stomach
- 6. Fast, weakening pulse and shallow breathing
What you need to do - Heat exhaustion
• Help take them to a cool place and get them to lie down
with their legs raised.
• Then give them lots of water. You can also give them a
sports drink like Lucozade or an oral rehydration solution to help
replace the salt and fluid they have lost by sweating.
• Keep checking their breathing, pulse and level of
• Even if they recover quickly, suggest they see a
• If they seem to be getting worse, place them into
the recovery position and call 999/112
for an ambulance.
• While waiting, keep checking their breathing, pulse and
level of response.