• Nikki Latham

525% Increase in NHS Website Visits For Heat Exhaustion Advice

Visits to the NHS Website looking up details of heat exhaustion have increased 525% in the past week.


Figures released by NHS Digital show that there were 185,184 visits to the health advice page on heat exhaustion and heatstroke last week (9 - 15 July), comparison to 29, 608 in the previous week (2 - 8 July).

There was also a surge in visits over the weekend (16 - 17 July) with 86,914 visits in 48 hours - an average of one visit every 2 seconds.

The NHS Website, which is managed by NHS Digital, includes advice on signs of heat exhaustion, things you can do to cool someone down and preventing heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

The signs of heat exhaustion include:

  • a headache

  • dizziness and confusion

  • loss of appetite and feeling sick

  • excessive sweating and pale, clammy skin

  • cramps in the arms, legs and stomach

  • fast breathing or pulse

  • a high temperature of 38C or above

  • being very thirsty

The symptoms are often the same in adults and children, although children may become floppy and sleepy. If someone is showing signs of heat exhaustion, they need to be cooled down. 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. Get them to lie down and raise their feet slightly.

  3. Get them to drink plenty of water. Sports or rehydration drinks are OK.

  4. Cool their skin – spray or sponge them with cool water and fan them. Cold packs around the armpits or neck are good, too.

Stay with them until they're better. They should start to cool down and feel better within 30 minutes. Always seek medical advice via 111, if in any doubt, or 999 in an emergency.

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