People beating the heat at the Abu Dhabi Corniche. Image Credit: Alex Westcott/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi Police have warned residents of the dangers of sunstroke and urged them to avoid long-term exposure to direct sunlight.

The Directorate of Emergency and Public Safety in Abu Dhabi Police’s Central Operations Sector also told the public not to engage in excessive activities as this can lead to dehydration that may develop into potentially fatal sunstroke.

As part of the Have a Safe Summer campaign, launched on Tuesday, the directorate said that sunstroke is a medical condition that arises when the body is unable to control its temperature. It may progressively worsen into the damage of brain cells or internal organs, if the body’s temperature exceeds 41 degrees Celsius.

The symptoms of sunstroke include nausea, rapid heartbeat, muscle spasms, hallucinations and disorientation, lack of sweating despite high fever, loss of consciousness and fainting.

Members of the public are advised to avoid exposure to direct sunlight for long hours, not to go out when temperatures are extremely hot and not to stay in crowds in low-ventilated places, said police.

They are also advised to drink enough water, wear loose and light clothing that allows for airflow, and to limit their stay in open spaces.

It is recommended that sunstroke patients are moved into a cool place away from the sunlight, have tight or unnecessary clothing removed and get a cold shower and cool drinks (if they are conscious). If a person is unconscious, you should make sure their airway is open and that they are breathing. They should be placed in the recovery position with ice packs placed under the armpits, groin and neck to reduce internal heat.

The public are urged to seek police assistance by calling 999 if they come across such cases, detailing the address and patient’s condition, before staying with the patient until the ambulance arrives.