Tips For Treating Heat-Related Illness
Heat stroke happens when the body can no longer control its
temperature. The body’s temperature rises fast. The
body cannot sweat and is unable to cool itself. Warning signs
include red, hot, dry skin; very high body temperature, dizziness, nausea,
confusion, strange behavior or unconsciousness, rapid pulse or throbbing
headache. Heat stroke can cause death or disability if treatment is
not given. What to do:
Get medical help quickly.
Get the victim to a shady area.
Cool the person off with a cool shower, garden hose,
Do not give the victim fluids to drink.
If emergency medical personnel are delayed, call the hospital for
Heat exhaustion is a milder illness that happens when the body has
lost too much water and salt in sweat. Warning signs include heavy sweating,
cramps, headache, nausea or vomiting, tiredness, weakness, dizziness and
fainting. If heat exhaustion is not treated, it can turn into heat
stroke. Get medical help if the symptoms are severe or if the
victim has heart problems or high blood pressure. Help the victim
cool off with:
Cool, nonalcoholic beverages,
Rest, lying down,
Cool shower, bath or sponge bath,
Heat cramps are muscle pains and spasms due to heavy activity.
They usually involve the stomach muscles or the legs. It is
generally thought that the loss of water and salt from heavy sweating causes the
cramps. If you have heart problems or are on a low-sodium diet, get
medical attention for heat cramps. What to do:
Stop. Sit quietly in a cool place.
Drink clear juice or a sports beverage.
Rest for a few hours to avoid heat exhaustion or heat
Get medical help if heat cramps do not stop after one
Sunburn is when skin becomes red, painful and unusually warm after
being in the sun. Sunburn should be avoided because it damages the
skin and could lead to more serious illness. What to do:
See a doctor if the sunburn affects an infant younger than one year
old or if the victim has fever, blisters or severe pain.
Stay out of the sun.
Bathe the sunburned area with cool water.
Use moisturizing lotion on sunburn, do not use salve, butter or
Do not break blisters.