Do you know the signs of heatstroke & other heat-related illnesses?

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This summer is already a scorcher in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere, with record-setting temperatures being recorded. Staying safe while you’re out and about in the heat can be challenging, especially if you aren’t properly dressed and hydrating regularly.

Fortunately, heat-related illnesses are preventable, and it’s easy to learn the symptoms and what to do if you or a loved one shows signs of having a heat-related illness.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have put together the following tips for recognizing and responding to possible heat-related illnesses:

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1. Heat Stroke

What to look for:

  • High body temperature (103°F or higher)
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Losing consciousness (passing out)

What to do:

  • Call 911 right away. Heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
  • Do not give the person anything to drink

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2. Heat exhaustion

What to look for:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting (passing out)

What to do:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen your clothes
  • Put cool, wet cloths on your body or take a cool bath
  • Sip water

Get medical help right away if:

  • You are throwing up
  • Your symptoms get worse
  • Your symptoms last longer than one hour

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3. Heat cramps

What to look for:

  • Heavy sweating during intense exercise
  • Muscle pain or spasms

What to do:

  • Stop physical activity and move to a cool place
  • Drink water or a sports drink
  • Wait for cramps to go away before you do any more physical activity

Get medical help right away if:

  • Cramps last longer than one hour
  • You’re on a low-sodium diet
  • You have heart problems

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4. Sunburn

What to look for:

  • Painful, red, and warm skin
  • Blisters on the skin

What to do:

  • Stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals
  • Put cool cloths on sunburned areas or take a cool bath
  • Put moisturizing lotion on sunburned areas
  • Do not break blisters

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5. Heat rash

What to look for:

  • Red clusters of small blisters that look like pimples on the skin (usually on the neck, chest, groin, or in elbow creases)

What to do:

  • Stay in a cool, dry place
  • Keep the rash dry
  • Use powder to soothe the rash

This article was produced and syndicated by

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Constance Brinkley-Badgett

Constance Brinkley-Badgett is MediaFeed’s executive editor. She has more than 20 years of experience in digital, broadcast and print journalism, as well as several years of agency experience in content marketing. She has served as a digital producer at NBC Nightly News, Senior Producer at CNBC, Managing Editor at ICF Next, and as a tax reporter at Bloomberg BNA.