With the summer months progressing, and hopefully warmer days ahead, make sure you stay safe whilst you are working during these hotter months with our free First aid skills for summer pack full of free first aid tips. With this pack, you will know how to provide important first aid for injuries that are more common during the summer months.
During the hot weather, we can often experience dangerous temperatures that are above 30°C. It's important to take precautions if you will be exposed to the sun and heat, however, as many workers know, heat can also come from other sources besides the sun, such as machinery and equipment found in bakeries, factories, laundries and restaurant kitchens. It’s important to take precautions and know what to do should a first aid emergency arise with our free summer first aid tips.
What is heat exhaustion?
Heat exhaustion happens when someone loses fluid and salt through excessive sweating, which is the body's way of trying to cool down when it's too hot – e.g. due to: being in a hot, humid environment, not being accustomed to the heat and other factors, such as physical exertion.
Working in the sun or hot conditions can lead to heat exhaustion, here's how to recognise the symptoms and give first aid for heat exhaustion.
What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?
- The person may be dizzy or confused and complain of a headache.
- They may be sweating and have pale, cool skin.
- They may feel nauseous.
How to help someone with heat exhaustion
If you think someone may have heat exhaustion, you can help them by following three simple steps.
1. Help the person to a cool place and get them to rest.
This will help them start to cool down.
Helping the person to lie down and raise their legs can help them stop feeling dizzy.
2. Give them plenty of water to drink.
Tell them to take small sips regularly. Isotonic sports drinks are even better as they will also help to replace salt lost through sweating.
3. Seek medical advice.
Even if the person appears to recover fully, advise them to seek medical advice. If their condition deteriorates, call 999 for emergency help.
What is sunburn?
Those who work outside for long periods of time such as farm or construction workers and gardeners, will be exposed to more sun, increasing their risk of getting sunburnt. Prevention is better than cure, but if you or your colleague does get sunburnt, here’s what to do:
What to do
- Cover your skin with light clothing or a towel and help them move into the shade, or indoors if possible,
- Have frequent sips of cold water. Cool the affected skin by dabbing with cold water.
- Once cooled, you can apply after sun lotion to burns that are minor.
What is Heatstroke?
Heatstroke happens when someone gets so hot that their body can’t control their temperature. It’s very serious so if you suspect your colleague has heatstroke, you’ll need to act quickly.
What are the symptoms of heat stroke?
A person with heatstroke may:
- have hot, flushed and dry skin
- have a headache, feel dizzy or be confused and restless
- get worse quickly and become unresponsive.
What to do
1. Call 999 immediately or get someone else to do it.
2. Cool them. Quickly move them into a cool environment and remove outer clothing. Wrap them in a cold, wet sheet and keep pouring water over them.
3. Keep cooling them while waiting for help to arrive. If their temperature returns to normal and they no longer feel hot to touch, you can stop cooling them.
Learn more about staying safe this summer
Whilst most of us will have been looking forward to enjoy the sun and heat that the summer months bring, it can be easy to forget the dangers that come with it. It is important to consider the safety of yourself and others around you especially if you may be spending a prolonged time in the sun or in a hot environment.
Download our free First aid skills for summer first aid pack to access our latest advice for a host of summer related first aid situations, keeping your first aid skills up to date so you can safely enjoy the summer months ahead.
Topics: First Aid