Overheating can cause a variety of problems, ranging in severity from uncomfortable to life-threatening. The best way to prevent heat-related illnesses is to learn what causes them and take steps to cool off if you start to overheat. Here’s what you need to know:
Heat cramps are painful, involuntary muscle spasms that usually occur during heavy exercise in hot environments.
Muscle pain or spasms
Move to a cool place and take a break from physical activity.
Drink water or a sports drink to rehydrate and replenish your electrolytes.
Seek medical attention if cramps last longer than an hour.
Heat exhaustion occurs when the body overheats and can’t cool itself down.
Fast, weak pulse
Cold, pale, clammy skin
Dizziness or fainting
Nausea or vomiting
Move to a cool place.
Loosen clothing and apply cool cloths to skin.
Seek medical attention if symptoms last for more than an hour or get worse.
Heatstroke occurs when the body’s temperature is 104ºF or higher. It can be a life-threatening medical emergency and if you experience any of the symptoms below, contact 911.
Fast, strong pulse
Headache or dizziness
Call 911 right away.
Do not give the person anything to drink.
Move to a cool place and apply cool cloths to the skin.
Visit the CDC website to learn more about heat safety.