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Would you recognize heatstroke symptoms?

Have you had or know someone who has had heatstroke before? It’s not always easy to recognize if someone has just been in the sun a bit too much or if it is something worse that needs to be carefully monitored.

Let’s take a look at what heatstroke is. Heatstroke is a condition caused by your body overheating, usually due to prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. It is the most severe form of heat injury.

Emergency Treatment

Unlike when you may get sunburn or sat in the sun for a little longer than you should have, heatstroke requires emergency treatment. This is because of the impact it can have on your body, including your organs. The first minutes are the most crucial, and an untreated heatstroke may be fatal within 30-60 minutes of the first symptoms—which themselves may go unnoticed for some time.

“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.”

Let’s take a look at what you should look out for and then what to do if they suffer from those symptoms.


  • High body temp (103 degrees Fahrenheit or above)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness

What To Do

  • Call 911 straight as it’s a medical emergency..
  • Keep the person in the coolest place of the house (or venue) as possible
  • Help lower the patient’s temperature with cold cloths or, a cold bath if they feel up to it.
  • Most importantly, DO NOT give the person anything to drink.

Some of the symptoms of Heatstroke are similar to heat exhaustion, so it’s important to look them up so you can clarify what the person is experiencing, so you know how to treat your friend or family member.

How To Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses

It’s also important to know how you can prevent heat-related illnesses and what questions to ask the person. Although anyone at any time can suffer from heat-related illness, some people are at greater risk than others:

  • Infants and young children
  • People 65 years and older
  • People who are overweight
  • People who over exert themselves during work or exercise
  • People who are physically ill, especially with heart disease or high blood pressue, or who take specific medication for for depression, nsomnia, and poor circulation

Visit adults at risk at least twice a day and closely watch them for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Infants and young children, of course, need much more frequent watching.

Heatstroke Myths

We also need to note that there are myths about heatstroke and we need to make you aware of these so you can carry out the correct care until you are able to get professional medical attention.

  • If the person is still sweating it’s not an emergency – MYTH. A person who has become so dehydrated and overheated that they lose their ability to sweat IS more than likely experiencing a heat stroke.
  • An Ice bath or cool water may send the person into shock – MYTH. Multiple studies have concluded that cold-water immersion including ice baths are an effective treatment for heat stroke and hyperthermia.

Staying hydrated and avoiding strenuous activity and prolonged exposure to heatwaves is the best way to stay safe this summer.