How to Identify Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke


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South Shore Health

When the summer temperatures soar, it's important to take precautions to avoid heat-related illness — particularly for at-risk populations.

High temperatures can put you at risk for a number of heat-related conditions, particularly heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Along with preventing these conditions by staying hydrated and limiting physical activity, it's important to know how to spot and treat these heat-related illnesses.

By staying prepared, you'll be able to safely enjoy all that a South Shore summer has to offer.

What are the symptoms of heat exhaustion?

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea, vomiting, muscle cramps
  • Tiredness, weakness, dizziness, headache

What should you do if you're experiencing heat exhaustion symptoms?

  • Move to a cool place. Consider loosening clothes and sipping water.
  • Put on a cool cloth or take a cool bath.
  • Seek medical attention immediately if throwing up or if symptoms worsen/last for more than an hour.

What are the symptoms of heat stroke?

  • High body temperature (more than 103 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin.
  • Fast, strong pulse.
  • Dizziness, nausea, confusion, or losing consciousness

What should you do if you're experiencing heat stroke symptoms?

  • Call 9-1-1: heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move to a cooler place
  • A cool cloth or bath can lower the body's temperature
  • Do not give the person anything to drink


Source: CDC