Heat exhaustion or heat stroke?

During extremely hot and humid weather, your body’s ability to cool itself is challenged. Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.

Heat Illness Chart

Heat Exhaustion Signs

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

What You Should Do:

  1. Move to a cooler location.
  2. Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  3. Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  4. Sip water.
  5. If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.

Heat Stroke

  • High body temperature (above 103°F – *104°F taken rectally is the most accurate)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

What You Should Do:

  1. Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.
  2. Move the person to a cooler environment.
  3. Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
  4. Do NOT give fluids.

When the body heats too rapidly to cool itself properly, or when too much fluid or salt is lost through dehydration or sweating, body temperature rises and you or someone you care about may experience a heat-related illness.

Heat Cramps

Heat cramps may be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke.

  • Symptoms include: painful muscle cramps and spasms usually in legs and abdomen, heavy sweating
  • First Aid: Apply firm pressure on cramping muscles or gently massage to relieve spasm. Give sips of water unless the person complains of nausea, then stop giving water

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