Heat exhaustion is a less severe form of heat injury and occurs when the body is too hot. Symptoms of heat exhaustion include excessive thirst, profuse sweating, muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, uncoordinated movement, fatigue and fainting. The skin usually feels cold and clammy to the touch.
Heat exhaustion can come over you with little warning. So make sure you limit your exposure to the sun and keep in mind the tips listed below.
Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat-related illness. Symptoms of heat stroke include dizziness, confusion, combativeness, strong rapid pulse, dry skin or lack of sweating and possible delirium, unconsciousness, or coma.
While heat stroke is relatively uncommon, it's a serious concern if you're in a high-risk category or spending an usual amount of time in the sun.
- Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks because they promote dehydration.
- Eat light. Avoid hot, heavy meals and opt for foods high in water content: fruits, salads and soups.
- Dress in light-weight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.
- Wear a hat or umbrella to block the sun's rays.
- Wear sunscreen.
- Find shade or air conditioning if possible. Even two hours of air conditioning each day can significantly reduce the risk of heat-related illness.
- Use common sense--avoid strenuous unnecessary projects and exercising in the heat. Avoid midday heat, the hottest part of the day being the hours of noon to 4:00p.m.