Is it Heat Stroke or Heat Exhaustion?

As the summer rolls forward, it’s only going to get hotter. With all the heat in place, are you doing what you need to keep yourself protected from heat stroke or heat exhaustion? Are you unsure of the signs of either?

If that sounds like you, do not fear! Take a look at our helpful guide and we will help you recognize the signs and symptoms of both heat stroke and heat exhaustion and help provide tips on what you can to avoid these issues.

Heat Exhaustion

 When it comes to heat exhaustion, there are certain things you need to look for. Here are the signs that you are suffering from heat exhaustion:

  • Breathing that is shallow and fast
  • Clammy skin
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fainting
  • Headache
  • Loss of color in skin
  • Nausea
  • Pale complexion
  • Pulse that is fast and weak
  • Skin that feels moist and cool (when touched)
  • Sweating
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting

If you see any of the symptoms of exhaustion above, get out of the heat immediately. The person experiencing symptoms should be given plenty of cool fluids and be wiped own with cool cloths. If rapid improvement isn’t seen, call 911 immediately.

Heat Stroke

When it comes to heat stroke there are certain things you need to look for. Here are the signs that you are suffering from heat stroke:

  • Dizziness
  • Extremely high body temperature (over 103 degrees F)
  • Headache that is throbbing
  • Lack of sweating
  • Nausea
  • Rapid pulse that is strong
  • Red skin that is hot and dry (when touched)

Heat stroke always requires medical attention. If you see any of the above exposure signs, get the person out of the heat immediately and take them to the nearest hospital or call 911.

How do I avoid such situations?

In order to stay safe during these hot months, make sure to follow these helpful ideas:

  • If at all possible, stay inside during the hottest hours of the day. This would include the mid-morning to mid-afternoon hours. It would also be recommended to stay in an air-conditioned space if at all possible.
  • Dress lightly, and when sleeping, use lightweight, breathable covers.
  • Most importantly, stay hydrated! You should be drinking plenty of water and other quality fluids. It’s important to drink at least a gallon of liquid per day, preferably water. Those who are overweight and in humid conditions should try drinking even more.
  • While inside, make sure to keep blinds and curtains closed from morning until the late afternoon to block extra direct heat from sunlight.
  • Move your exercise routine to early morning or later in the evening.
  • Never ever leave a person or a pet in the car in hot conditions while you run to do a quick errand. People and animals can succumb to heat exposure and death very quickly in a hot car. Cars can become overheated quickly and when overheated become like ovens. It’s never safe.
  • Properly supervise children during outdoor play, being sure to monitor them closely and frequently. Make sure that they stay hydrated too.
  • Stay on the lowest level of your home. It typically is cooler than the rest of the house.
  • Use a fan. Don’t place the fan directly in front of a window because it may push hot air in.
  • Stay safe and have fun this summer!
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