Recognizing the Signs of Heat Stroke: Your Guide to Staying Safe this Summer

Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury—here's what you need to know to stay safe

Flickr/Robert Couse-Baker CC by 2.0

When it comes to spending time outside during the warm, sunny summer months it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers involved. This is especially true for those who spend time engaged in outdoor physical activities during the summer.

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are two potential warm-weather threats, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heat stroke is a much more serious danger.

Mayo Clinic says it’s the “most serious form of heat injury” and that it occurs as a result of the body overheating.

Be Aware
The following symptoms are common signs of heat stroke according to Mayo Clinic and the CDC:

  • High body temperature (greater than 103-degrees F)
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin—Mayo Clinic says heat stroke caused by hot weather will result in hot, dry skin. Heat stroke brought on by strenuous exercise may cause the skin to feel moist.
  • Rapid and strong pulse, racing heart rate
  • Possible unconsciousness
  • An altered mental state or confusion, agitation, slurred speech or delirium
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Headache

What to Do
Heat stroke requires immediate medical attention. The CDC says 911 should be contacted immediately. The person should be moved to a cooler environment. Help to reduce their body temperature by applying cool cloths to their body or even placing them in a cool bath, but do not give them fluids.

Related:
Summer Health Myths That Will Surprise You
Ways to Beat the Heat this Summer
Mosquitoes and West Nile Virus: Your Complete Guide to Staying Safe this Summer

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