Travel Blog

What to Do When You Get Heat Stroke on Holiday

There’s nothing worse than beginning to fully relax in the sunshine on holiday, to then be struck with a burst of heat stroke.

It’s often easily done, especially since the climate in the UK isn’t what we would call the warmest.

This blog will take you through the initial warning signs that could indicate that you are suffering from heat stroke, followed by the steps you should take, if you are to get sun stroke on holiday.

We hope this information helps you to eradicate the symptoms as quickly as possible, allowing you to get back to enjoying your holiday (heat stroke free).

What Is Heat Stroke?

For those of you that don’t know, heat stroke (a form of hyperthermia) occurs when your body temperature reaches 38 ⁰C or above in a very short space of time.

Dehydration is often an accompanying factor of this.

It’s quite a common medical condition, so don’t panic too much if you feel like you have it.

Just make sure you take the necessary steps to combat it.

And if symptoms persist, please seek medical help and call 999 (or the local A+E when abroad) if required.

How Do I Know If I’ve Got Sun Stroke?

According to the NHS Website, if you do have a mix of the following symptoms; it may well be the case that you have got Sun stroke:

  • Your body temperature will have reached 38⁰c or possibly even higher
  • You may have a headache
  • Feeling confused, or incurring dizzy spells are a common sign of sun stroke
  • You may start sweating excessively, leaving your skin clammy and even pale in colour
  • Loss of appetite and feeling nauseous
  • You may get cramp in your arms, stomach and legs
  • A strong feeling of thirst

The main thing to focus on if you do have sun stroke is to cool the body down, getting it back to its normal temperature, ideally within 30 minutes of your body temperature peaking.

How to Get the Body Temperature Back to Normal

  1. Move to a cool place as quickly as possible, removing any additional layers of clothing which may be restricting heat escaping
  2. Lie down and raise your feet slightly
  3. Hydration is key so make sure plenty of water is drank to keep fluids up
  4. Wrap a cool wet sheet/or flannel on the heated parts of the body. In particular the forehead, arms and legs
  5. If there is a fan available try and use this to cool down the body
  6. Continue to check the body temperature during this to see if it is beginning to reduce. This can be measured using a thermometer. Place this under the armpit or tongue to get the most accurate results
  7. As the body temperature drops back to normal replace these wet flannels with dry ones
  8. If the body temperature rises again, repeat these steps
  9. However, if symptoms worsen OR do not reduce after 30 minutes seek urgent medical help

How to Limit Your Chances of Getting Sun Stroke

Often when on holiday, and out of your usual routine, hydration levels can drop.

Ensuring plenty of water is drank to avoid dehydration is a key factor in prevention of sun stroke.

Avoid drinking too much caffeine and alcohol, as such drinks de-hydrate you.

This coupled with ensuring you are not exerting yourself in hot temperatures can help limit your chances of suffering from sun stroke.

If the weather is hot, ensure you wear clothing which is loose, alongside hats and sunglasses to shade yourself from the sun.

And make sure you wear plenty of sun cream with a high SPF. As over exposure can ultimately increase an individual’s chances of getting sunstroke. 

I hope this provides you with enough information to deal with heat stroke.

Remember to try not to panic if you or a friend/family member is affected. Instead, try and treat the sun stroke as quickly as possible, and if needed, seek medical assistance.

And finally, make sure you are covered with travel insurance whilst you are away. As if you do require medical help, it’s best to have cover.

Medical Travel Compared have an array of insurance options available to ensure you are fully covered on your trip, so feel free to take a look at your options here.

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