St John Ambulance, the nation’s leading first aid charity is bringing you some simple, but life-saving, first aid tips – this week: heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is caused by a loss of salt and water, usually through excessive sweating. It develops slowly and usually happens to people who aren’t used to hot, humid weather. 

What to look for:

  • They may suffer from a headache, dizziness and confusion   
  • They may suffer from a loss of appetite and feeling sick   
  • They may sweat with pale, clammy skin   
  • They may have cramps in the arms, legs and stomach   
  • They may have a fast, weakening pulse and breathing   

What you need to do:

  • Help the casualty to a cool place, out of the sun and encourage them to lie down with their legs raised and supported   
  • You then need to give them lots of water to drink. You could also give them an isotonic sports drink or oral rehydration solution, to help replace the salt and fluid they have lost though sweating
  • Monitor their level of response. Even if they recover quickly, suggest they seek medical advice if their condition seems to be getting worse, call 999/112 for emergency help.   

For more free first aid advice, or for more information on St John Ambulance, including how to make a donation, volunteering opportunities, and details of training for the public, schools and businesses, visit or call 08700 10 49 50.

Article supplied by Kate Rutsch