Heat Stroke Symptoms: How to Spot Signs and What to Do

The symptoms of heat stroke, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, include a high body temperature (103 degrees Fahrenheit, or 39.5 degrees Celsius, or higher); hot, red, dry or damp skin; a fast and strong pulse; a headache; dizziness; nausea; confusion and passing out. If someone is experiencing these symptoms, call your local emergency number and try to move the person into the shade or a cooler area. You can also use cool cloths or a cool bath to lower the person’s body temperature. Do not give him or her anything to drink.

Making matters more confusing, a compromised ability to make rational decisions can also be a symptom of heat stroke, so be aware that people with heat-related illnesses may deny feeling ill. Watch out for other signs that might hint at a problem, such as if they start stumbling or appear less coordinated than usual. Ask them if they have a headache, nausea or dizziness. Talk to them about a variety of topics to see if they exhibit symptoms of confusion.

If you suspect someone is having a problem with the heat, err on the side of caution and insist he or she gets into the shade or somewhere cool. People thought to be experiencing heat stroke should drink plenty of water; you can also spray their body with cold water or rub them down with ice or a cold cloth. If they don’t cool down quickly, seek medical advice.

Children should be instructed that if their friends ever start acting confused or mumbling in the heat, they should alert an adult.

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