Warning signs of heat related illness you shouldn’t ignore


“The Sun by the Atmospheric Imaging Assembly of NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory – 20100819” by NASA/SDO

In these hot summer months, it’s natural to want to go outside and enjoy outdoor activities — but with temperatures climbing as we move into August, we need to be aware of the warning signs of heat-related illness from spending TOO much time under the sun.

1.  Heat Cramps:

  • Severe cramps that usually occur suddenly in the hands, calf muscles, or feet
  • Hard, tense muscles that are difficult to flex and bend

2. Heat Exhaustion

  • Tiredness
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Excessive thirst
  • Muscle aches and cramps
  • Weakness
  • Mental confusion or axiety
  • Intense sweating or clamminess
  • Slow or weak heartbeat
  • Feeling Dizzy
  • Passing out/fainting
  • Feeling agitated

NOTE: heat exhaustion requires medical attention but is not usually life threatening.

3. Heat stroke. Many symptoms of heat exhaustion also may accompany the onset of a heat stroke, which is more serious in nature.

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness/vertigo
  • Tiredness
  • Dry skin that is hot or flushed
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Decrease in sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Decreased urinary output
  • Blood in urine or stool
  • Increased body temperature of 104 – 106 degrees F.
  • Delirium
  • Fainting
  • Seizure-like convulsions

Heat Stroke can occur swiftly without ANY symptoms of heat exhaustion. If a person is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.  Delaying medical care could be fatal. Seek emergency care for anyone who has been in the heat and exhibits any of the symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

If you are prone to heat related illness due to age or health conditions, you should consider avoiding outdoor tasks during the peak heat of the day. You should also consider moving your exercise program indoors.