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Heat Exhaustion

Bright sun
Heat exhaustion is the opposite of hypothermia. With heat exhaustion, the core body temperature increases, usually because of hot and humid conditions, plus a lack of water.

  • To prevent heat exhaustion, drink plenty of water; take frequent breaks, especially when carrying a large load; and dress in layers.
  • Symptoms include pale and clammy skin, weakness, nausea, headache, and muscle cramps.
  • Treat heat exhaustion by moving to a cooler place, drinking water, and fanning to lower body temperature.

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke should be treated as a medical emergency—it can be fatal.

  • Symptoms include dry, hot, and flushed skin—dark or purple in color; dilated pupils; rapid, weak pulse; shallow breathing; and high temperature that may be in excess of 106° Fahrenheit.
  • To treat heat stroke, wrap in a sheet and soak with cool—not cold—water; fan, but do not over-chill; and get to a hospital immediately.