High temperature and humidity stress the body's ability to cool itself and can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Both are medical emergencies and require immediate attention. Heat stroke is the most serious and can be life threatening.
Heat Exhaustion Symptoms
- Weakness, lightheadedness, headaches, dizziness or fainting
- Upset stomach or vomiting
- Pale complexion, clammy or moist skin, heavy sweating
- Rapid, strong pulse
- Mood changes, irritability, confusion, giddiness
Heat Stroke Symptoms
- Hot, dry skin
- Body temperature 103 degrees or higher
- Mental confusion or loss of consciousness
- Convulsions or seizures
- Avoid heavy exercise or work in the heat unless you are used to it.
- Drink plenty of liquids, especially water. Don't wait until you're thirsty to start drinking.
- Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks or heavy meals.
- Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothes.
- Take frequent breaks, especially if you notice you're getting a headache, cramps or start to feel overheated.
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible. Try to stay in a cool, shaded area.
- Wear a hat or cap.
- Use cooling fans.
- Rest regularly.
- Watch for signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
- Call 911
- Move the victim to a cool area and start to cool down the body as fast as possible.
- Soak the patient's clothes in water
- Apply cold packs
- Use fans or air conditioning
- Place them in a tub of cool water
- Give the patient fluids.