Too Hot? Know the Signs of Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

Feeling the Heat?
Identify a person in danger with this guide

As high temperatures sweep across the country, know that excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you’re at the beach or have to stay outside this week, the American Red Cross has a guide for danger signs and what to do if someone gets too hot.

First, if someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place. Have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.

HEAT EXHAUSTION SIGNS

  • Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Exhaustion
  • HOW TO HELP HEAT EXHAUSTION If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion, you should:

  • Move them to a cooler place.
  • Remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin.
  • Fan the person.
  • If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly.
  • Watch for changes in condition.
  • If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • HEAT STROKE SIGNS (LIFE-THREATENING)

  • Hot, red skin which may be dry or moist.
  • Changes in consciousness.
  • Vomiting and high body temperature.
  • HOW TO HELP HEAT STROKE If someone is exhibiting signs of heat stroke, you should:

  • Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke.
  • Move the person to a cooler place.
  • Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.
  • For more information on what to do when temperatures rise, download the free Red Cross Emergency App. The app also gives users the option to receive alerts for excessive heat watches, warnings and heat advisories.

    Tags: Heat Safety.
    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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