Exposure to high temperatures increases sweating and results in loss of fluid and electrolytes causing rapid dehydration. This can result in heat exhaustion or heatstroke which can be life threatening if not dealt with promptly.
Any traveller can be at risk of sun and heat related injuries but the highest risk is in the elderly, babies, children and those with pre-existing medical conditions.
Travellers who perform strenuous physical activity will increase the risk of illness related to the heat.
It can take the body up to 10 days to acclimatize to the heat, so it is important that travellers are prepared to prevent heat related illness.
What can travellers do?
*Seek shelter and shade during the middle of the day (11am -3pm) when temperatures are at their hottest
*If you are outside, ensure you protect your skin against the sun with a high factor sun cream
*Wear lose fitting light weight and light colour clothing
*Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and eating food with a high water content (such as fruit)
*Ensure you are taking in sufficient salt in your diet (sweating leads to electrolyte and salt depletion).
*Avoid caffeine and alcohol, which can worsen heat related illness
Heat stroke can be a life-threatening emergency and medical help should be sought.
For more travel health advice, you can book a travel consultation appointment with one of our nurses.