First Aid – Heat Exhaustion & Heat Stroke


Our bodies are able to cool down using a system of sweating and radiating heat through the skin. In extreme conditions such as high temperatures, high humidity in combination with exercise can cause the body to be unable to loose all the heat.

As heat builds up in the body heat illnesses can occur. Avoid heat illnesses by avoiding too high temperatures and body exercise. Assure yourself that you are drinking more fluids than you are losing.

Heat illnesses develop in the following stages:

Heat Cramps


Heat cramps are pretty innocent they occur as brief but severe cramps in the leg, arm or abdomen muscles. They are painful but not too serious. Cool down by resting out of the sun and drinking cold beverages.

Heat Exhaustion


If the heat continues to build up inside the body a person can suffer from heat exhaustion.

Symptoms include dehydration, fatigue, weakness, headaches, nausea, vomiting and hyperventilation.

Heat Exhaustion can get very serious. Get away from the heat as soon as possible. Drink cool beverages. If seriously overheated, remove all clothes and bathe in cool, not cold, water. Visit a doctor for serious cases.

Heat Stroke


If the situation becomes worse, a person might suffer from heat stroke. The body is no longer able to control the body’s temperature and the body temperature rises to dangerous levels (42 degrees and up). Signs of a heat stroke are: hot and dry skin, severe headaches, dizziness, weakness, disorientation, fatigue, seizure, loss of consciousness. It is essential to get the body temperature down as quickly as possible to avoid brain damage or even death.

Take of all the victim’s clothes and if possible submerge the victim in cool water or cover the victim with ice bags. Keep the victim moist and if enough water is not available, use a blower or any other method of cooling down the victim.

It is important to know how you should take care of yourself when you go out for fun and adventure. There are many possible situations that may occur. These are only some guides on how you can prevent them.