Heat Exhaustion & Heat StrokeNov 18, 2019
When the weather is warm and sunny, it’s great to get outdoors. Both adult and children participate in outdoor sports more frequently during the summer months, but without taking the proper precautions exercising when it is hot and humid can lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Keep a special eye on children, who may not know what to do or when to stop when it is hot.
With heat exhaustion, a person’s body is having trouble keeping itself cool. It can come on very suddenly. The body temperature is slightly raised and the person may feel weak, dizzy or sick to his/her stomach, but the person is sweating and is aware of the need to “cool down.” These people should get out of the sun, move to a cool spot and drink lots of water.
Heat stroke is very serious and requires immediate medical attention! With heat stroke the body’s temperature is very high, sweating stops and the victim may be disoriented, confused or unconscious.
If heat exhaustion or heat stroke is suspected:
- Place the person in cool, well-ventilated area.
- Elevate their legs slightly.
- If conscious and not vomiting, give 4–6 oz. of water every 15 minutes.
- If person has temperature of 101° or higher, call an ambulance.
Use these simple precautions to avoid heat-related illness:
- Be sure that you and your children drink lots of water throughout the day, even if not thirsty.
- Supervise children playing or exercising in the heat and watch for signs of heat distress.
- Make sure to take frequent breaks to rest and cool down.
- If possible, exercise or play in a shady area.
- Wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing that breathes.
- Be especially cautious of humidity. Excessive humidity makes it harder for the body to cool itself through sweating.
- If symptoms of heat exhaustion appear, stop the activity right away, move to a cool spot and drink plenty of water.
- If heat stroke is apparent, go to the emergency immediately.