What to do in case of sunstroke or sunstroke?

On hot summer days where temperatures rise and the sun shines brightly in a cloudless sky, it can happen to anyone who is outside unprotected: sunstroke or sunstroke. You feel bad because of the heat, because of the sun and because of the heat. As soon as your body heats up, your body temperature rises. If the temperature is too high, the body can no longer dissipate the heat. You are overheated, but, what to do?

What is it?

What is heat stroke? What is heat stroke? In the Netherlands we talk about sunstroke, in Belgium about sunstroke, but we mean the same thing: overheating of the body due to a combination of an excess of sun, warmth, heat and sun rays and a shortage of moisture, water and shade.

How does sunstroke or sunstroke occur?

Someone who has suffered from heatstroke or sunstroke has a body temperature that is too high. The heat center in the brain is disrupted. The body temperature can rise so high due to too much:

  • Sun and
  • Heat on the head and neck and due to a lack of:
  • Moisture,
  • Water and
  • Shadow.

Someone with heat stroke or sunstroke is no longer able to dissipate heat and heat. Once you are no longer able to dissipate the heat, you may become unconscious.

When is it dangerous?

Someone who has heat stroke or heat stroke with a body temperature of 40 degrees Celsius can go into shock.
At body temperatures of 42 degrees Celsius, a very life-threatening situation can arise. The body cannot handle such high temperatures. If appropriate action is not taken quickly, someone can die from heat stroke. Calling 112 is necessary!


What is the difference between heat stroke and overheating? Overheating can occur without the sun, for example someone who works with blast furnaces can become overwhelmed by the heat of the furnace. Overheating can therefore occur without the sun.

First symptoms

How do you recognize the first symptoms of sunstroke or sunstroke in someone?
If someone is sunbathing or exercising in the sun, their head and neck are exposed to the sun and they start to complain about:

  • Nausea,
  • Dizziness and
  • Headache

Could that be the first signs and signals of heatstroke or heat stroke? It is a requirement to get the person out of the sun immediately and drink plenty of (not too cold!) water.

Babies, young children, the sick and the elderly

The first symptoms of heatstroke or sunstroke are dangerous for:

  • Babies,
  • Young children,
  • Sick and
  • Elderly.

Mild heatstroke can be life-threatening for this group! Immediately notify a doctor, emergency services and the first aid post or call 112!


What are the symptoms of heatstroke or sunstroke? When the body heats up, the body temperature rises.
The victim:

  • Looks pale or has red-looking skin,
  • sweat a lot,
  • Feeling weak,
  • is thirsty,
  • Has a fast heart rate,
  • Responds dully,
  • High fever,
  • May faint,
  • Has a headache,
  • Feels dizzy and feels the
  • Tendency to vomit and vomit.


What should you do?

What should you do if someone has sunstroke or sunstroke?
First aid for heatstroke or sunstroke is:

  • Place the victim in the shade or cool place,
  • Let it drink plenty of (not too cold!) water,
  • Sponge the forehead, head and neck with water or cover the victim’s head, neck and body with a wet towel,
  • If possible, point a fan at the victim,
  • Place the victim in a shower (if possible),
  • Notify a doctor.

It is very important to lower the body temperature of someone with heatstroke or sunstroke, but make sure that the patient does not become hypothermic!


How can you prevent heatstroke or sunstroke during a hot, sunny summer day?
You can prevent heatstroke or sunstroke by:

  • Drink at least 2 liters of water,
  • Protect your head and neck in the sun
  • Regularly seek shade,
  • Out of the sun between 12 noon and 3 p.m.
  • Putting on sunglasses,
  • Use a sun hat or sun cap and
  • Sit regularly under a parasol.
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