It’s been another scorcher in parts of the U.S. this week, with temperatures at or above 100 degrees in several states.
The combination of excessive heat and humidity isn’t just uncomfortable—it can lead to a life-threatening situation. Know the signs for each of these conditions and what to do if they occur.
These are muscular pains and spasms that usually occur in the legs or abdomen. They are caused by exposure to high heat and humidity and loss of fluids and electrolytes.
Heat cramps are often an early sign that the body is having trouble with the heat, so make sure to stay hydrated, slow down and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
Heat exhaustion typically involves the loss of body fluids through heavy sweating during strenuous exercise or physical labor in high heat and humidity.
Signs: cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea; dizziness; weakness; and exhaustion.
What to do:
Also known as sunstroke, this is a life-threatening condition in which a person’s temperature control system stops working and the body is unable to cool itself.
Signs: hot, red skin that may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting; and high body temperature.
What to do:
For more information, read the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist.