First Aid for Heat Exhaustion

Heat exhaustion is a common heat-related syndrome. Heat-related syndromes range from mild heat cramps, to heat exhaustion, to life threatening heat stroke.

Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion occur suddenly, sometimes after excessive physical exertion [exercise], heavy perspiration, and inadequate liquid intake. Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:

  • Feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea
  • Heavy sweating
  • Rapid, weak heartbeat
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cool, moist, pale skin
  • Low-grade fever
  • Heat cramps
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Dark-colored urine

If you suspect heat exhaustion:

  • Take the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location
  • Lay the person down and raise his or her legs and feet slightly.
  • Loosen or take off the person’s clothes
  • Make the person drink cool water
  • Cool the person down by spraying or wiping him with cool water and fanning.
  • Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly lead to heatstroke.

If the person is having a fever greater than 102 F (38.9 C), is having seizures, appears confused, or has fainted, dial 911 for emergency help immediately.

Source: MayoClinic