What to do if You’re Having a Heatstroke

Stay safe in the summer heat


High body temperature, nausea, dizziness, racing heart, disorientation and headache, are just some of the many symptoms associated with a heatstroke.

Heatstroke can happen when you are exposed to extremely hot temperatures or when your body gets too hot during intense exercise.

*Related: How to Exercise Safely in the Summer Heat

According to the Mayo Clinic the most serious form of heatstroke can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher. They also explain “untreated heatstroke can quickly damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. The damage worsens the longer treatment is delayed, increasing your risk of serious complications or death.”

Are you taking any medications? Educate yourself on medicines that can affect heatstroke. For instance, allergy medicines with antihistamines, laxatives, mental health medicines and thyroid pills all increase your danger.

Take precaution and do your best to avoid a heatstroke by wearing lightweight clothing, using sunscreen, avoiding going outside during the hottest part of the day and staying hydrated.


Find shade or go indoors- If you are suffering from a heatstroke get out of the heat immediately! Find a shaded area or if you can, find a building with air conditioning and go indoors.

Remove any excess clothing- Loosen all of your clothing and remove as much as possible to try and cool yourself down.

Do not drink caffeinated drinks- They make heat exhaustion worse. They have a tendency to cause dehydration which can make your symptoms a lot worse. Make sure you drink plenty of water or sports drinks to help restore electrolyte balance.

Cool down the victim- Do whatever you can to cool down. Take a cold shower or bath, sponge your body down with cool water or use an ice towel. If you do not have access to the above, wet your skin with warm water and fan yourself.  

Seek medical attention- If your symptoms get worse or last longer than 15-30 minutes after attempting to provide relief, call 911 and seek medical attention.


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