Heat Injuries

Heat-related injuries can occur whether or not the temperature is high. Summer heat and humidity certainly play into the risk factors that can cause these medical conditions, but they can also occur during athletic events and physical exertion both on and off the job. 

Tips to Prevent Heat Injuries

Dress as comfortably as possible when you know you'll be in a heated environment.

Seek cool areas where there is shade from the sun and air conditioning or fans.

Know your limitations. Children and the elderly may have much lower heat tolerance levels and may benefit from remaining in an air conditioned atmosphere on high heat days.

Avoid leaving children and pets unattended in vehicles in warm weather.

Stay well hydrated. If you know you'll be in the heat, begin drinking water early and often, and keep drinking water while you're out in the heat. You should maintain enough water intake to still require a regular restroom visit. Water is the number one thing your body needs.

Sports drinks are helpful but cannot by themselves replace the large quantities of water your body requires if you've been sweating a great deal.

Signs, Symptoms, and Treatment

Type of Injury Symptoms Severity Care
Heat Cramps Sweating
Muscle cramps
Low Remove to cool area
Replenish lost fluids
Massage cramping muscles
Heat Exhaustion Sweating & clammy
Fatigue & exhaustion
Moderate Call EMS/9-1-1
Remove to cool area
Replenish lost fluids
Provide follow-up care as needed
Heat Stroke Lack of sweating
Possible seizures
Hot & dry skin
Life-Threatening Call EMS/9-1-1
Remove to cool area
Apply cold or ice water to skin
No fluids if unconscious