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Heat Related Illnesses

With summer officially here and the days are warming up, it’s important to know and understand the signs and symptoms of heat related illnesses.  Even if you are spending hours in and around the pool, you aren’t immune to heat exhaustion or other heat related illnesses.

Signs and symptoms of heat-related illness vary but may include

  • an elevated body temperature
  • weakness
  • nausea
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • seizures
  • muscle cramps
  • confusion
  • fainting
  • and even a coma

The following list does not replace medical treatment or the recommendations of a physician but serve as a guideline and awareness.

Heat Stroke symptoms can include

  • a fever over 103 degrees
  • hot, red, or damp skin
  • dizziness or nausea
  • Headache and/or confusion

What to do:

  • Call 911
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Apply cool cloths or a cool bath to lower temperature
  • Do NOT give the person anything to drink

Heat Exhaustion presents with symptoms such as

  • Heavy sweating
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Headache
  • Fainting

What to do:

  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Apply cool cloths or a cool bath to lower temperature
  • Offer sips of water
  • Get medical help immediately if there is vomiting or symptoms last longer than an hour or get worse.

Heat Cramps present with heavy sweating and muscle pain or spasms.

What to do: 

  • Stop physical activity
  • Drink a sports drink or water
  • Wait for cramps to subside
  • If symptoms worsen or last more than an hour, seek medical help.

Heat Rash symptoms show up as blisters on the skin that resemble pimples. To treat, keep the rash dry and stay in a cool dry place until they disappear.

And, of course, there is sunburn that can show up as very warm, red and painful skin or blisters on the skin.

What to do if you experience sunburn:

  • Don’t break the blisters
  • Stay out of the sun until you heal
  • Put cool cloths on the affected area and / or take cool baths
  • Use a moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas.

While these tips can help you identify different heat related illnesses, be sure to contact 9-1-1 or your personal physician for proper medical advice. After being cooped up for a few months recently, we’re all anxious to get outside and enjoy the scenery but be sure to hydrate and watch for these signs and symptoms of a heat related illness.

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