Being outside in the heat comes the potential for dehydration and heat-related illnesses. Preventing and treating these ‘symptoms of summer’ is important and choosing the appropriate oral rehydration solution (ORS) — such as Hydralyte — is an easy first step in managing mild to moderate dehydration.


The challenge with summer

Dehydration and heat-related illnesses (plus other unrelated illnesses affected by heat) can be a particular challenge during the summer months. Australian summers are getting hotter and the number of heatwave days is increasing across our major cities — meaning large numbers of Australians are increasingly having to endure dangerous heat conditions.

Source: Australian Beureau of Meterology (http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/change/) CC BY 3.0 AU


Major risk factors for heat-related illness include

    • Exposure to high ambient temperatures (above 37.8oC)
    • High humidity
    • An increase in body heat (via increased metabolism or muscular exercise)
    • Over-insulation (such as wearing protective gear or excessive clothing)
  • Alcohol consumption and certain medications (such as diuretics and beta-blockers)
  • Lack of acclimatisation
  • Dehydration through lack of fluid intake or excessive sweating.


Dehydration (a major risk factor for heat-related illnesses) develops if fluids lost, for example through sweating, are not replaced. Intense exercise or work activity with excessive sweating can make things worse causing a decrease plasma circulating volume and hypovolaemia affecting the body’s ability to cool. Studies suggest that for every 1% body mass lost through dehydration there may be an increase of 0.21oC in the core body temperature.

Early detection and treatment of dehydration is important as it can progress rapidly if oral rehydration is not addressed — with mild symptoms quickly worsening.


Vulnerable groups

Although everyone is at risk of dehydration and heat-related illnesses during hot weather some people are more vulnerable than others including:

  • Babies, children and older adults
  • Those taking certain medications
  • Individuals with illnesses or other conditions such as pregnancy
  • Individuals who need to work or train outdoors
  • Those having to wear protective gear


Treating dehydration

Knowing how to recognise the signs of dehydration and other heat-related illnesses is important for vulnerable patients. Providing education on how to behave during extreme conditions, what warning signs to look out for and when to seek medical help is important.

Replacing lost fluids and electrolytes is the most important initial step in managing dehydration – a major risk factor for heat-related illnesses. Advice on fluid and electrolyte intake during times of extreme heat conditions, prolonged exertion or high humidity should be discussed.

Early signs of mild dehydration to watch out for include:

  • Thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Reduced concentration
  • Darker (more concentred) urine


Why Hydralyte?

Using an ORS – such as Hydralyte – is a simple, proven intervention that helps rehydrate with mild or moderate dehydration symptoms faster than water alone..

Hydralyte is specifically formulated to meet WHO* ORS criteria for effective hydration — helping to replace water and electrolytes lost due to heavy sweating, vigorous exercise and other dehydrating conditions encountered during the Australian summer:

  • Electrolyte Ice blocks: cools and hydrates — ideal for hot weather hydration
  • Oral Electrolyte Solutions: ready-to-use when needed
  • Oral Electrolyte Powder: compact and portable for travel and on the go
  • Oral Electrolyte Effervescent Tablets: convenient on the go solution


**World Health Organisation