During the summer’s hot heat, it’s important to be careful when exposed to high temperatures. Stay hydrated during hot days, as both heat exhaustion and heat stroke are dangerous conditions that occur when one is exposed to high temperatures. Heat exhaustion happens during times of strenuous activity and/or humidity. The body loses fluids quickly through sweating and becomes dehydrated leading to the overheating of the body.  During heat exhaustion, the body can rise to more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat stroke or sunstroke is a life-threatening condition when the body’s cooling system stops working properly. This allows the body’s internal body temperature to rise so high that damage to organs or even the brain can occur.


Symptoms of Heat Stroke and Exhaustion


The symptoms for both heat exhaustion and heat stroke differ. Someone with heat stroke may become unconscious or act disoriented, be dizzy, act confused, hallucinate, or even go into a coma. The person’s skin will look flushed and/or feel hot and dry. Their blood pressure may be either too high or too low. Their temperature may rise above 105 degrees Fahrenheit.


For those with heat exhaustion, the individual may look pale with cool, moist skin. This fact alone is what helps someone understand the difference between the two conditions. They may also be sweating a lot and have muscle pain or cramps. Fainting or dizziness may also occur. Heat exhaustion can also cause weakness, nausea, headaches and thirst. During heat exhaustion, the body can be more than 100 degrees and the pulse rate may be increased.


When to Seek Help


It’s important to seek medical care if one suspects heat stroke or heat exhaustion is occurring. Heat stroke is a true medical emergency. Call 911 immediately. It’s especially important to seek help if the individual can’t keep fluids down or isn’t able to function properly. Some symptoms that require a hospital visit include chest or abdomen pain or shortness of breath. For someone with heat stroke, seek medical care if they can’t keep fluids down, are vomiting profusely, have chest or abdomen pain or are confused or lose consciousness.


It’s important to understand how dire these situations may be, so do not take them lightly. To avoid heat stroke or exhaustion, avoid being outside in extreme heat for a long time and always stay hydrated. For those who like exercising outside, work out in