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Heat-Related Illness

Heat-related illnesses are preventable. Learn the symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one shows signs of having a heat-related illness.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

  • extremely high body temperature (above 103°F)
  • red, hot and dry skin (no sweating)
  • rapid, strong pulse
  • throbbing headache
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • confusion
  • unconsciousness

How can I help someone with heat stroke?

  • call for emergency medical attention
  • get the victim to a shady area
  • cool the person rapidly (put them in a tub of cool water, place them in a cool shower, spray them with a garden hose, sponge them with cool water, etc.)
  • DO NOT give the victim any fluids (like water) to drink

What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?

  • heavy sweating
  • paleness (skin is a lighter color than normal)
  • muscle cramps
  • tiredness
  • weakness
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • nausea or vomiting
  • fainting

How can I help someone with heat exhaustion?

Help the victim cool off and seek medical attention if:

  • symptoms are severe
  • symptoms last more than one hour
  • the victim has heart problems or high blood pressure

What can I do to prevent a heat-related illness?

  • Stay indoors in air conditioning as much as possible.
  • Drink plenty of water during the day – don't wait until you are thirsty!
  • Outdoor workers should drink between two and four cups of water every hour while working.
  • Avoid drinks with caffeine, alcohol or large amounts of sugar.
  • Limit your outdoor activity to mornings and evenings and rest often in the shade.
  • Wear light-colored and loose fitting clothing, a hat, sunglasses and SPF 15 or higher sunscreen.
  • Check on those who may be more at risk from high temperatures like:
    • infants and young children
    • people aged 65 or older
    • people with chronic medical conditions
  • Never leave your children or pets in a vehicle.
  • Know the symptoms of heat stroke and heat exhaustion.