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Heat Related Safety

Annually, the United States averages 350 heat related deaths.

Symptoms and Treatment for Heat Related Illness
Heat Disorder
First Aid
Heat Cramps
Painful spasms usually in muscles of legs and abdomen due to heavy exertion. Heavy sweating.
Stop activity and rest in a cool place. Lightly stretch or gently massage muscle to relieve spasms. Give sips of cool water.
Heat Exhaustion
Heavy Sweating. Skin cool, pale, and clammy. Pulse fast and weak. Breathing fast and shallow. Fainting, dizziness, vomiting, and nausea.
Get victim to a cool place. Have him/her lie down and loosen clothing. Apply cool, moist cloths. give sips of cool water.
Heat Stroke (sun stroke)
Temperature 103 or higher. No sweating, rapid pulse, fast and shallow breathing. Hot, red, dry skin. Nausea, dizziness, headache, confusion.
HEAT STROKE IS A SEVERE MEDICAL EMERGENCY. SUMMON EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE OR GET THE VICTIM TO THE HOSPITAL. DELAY CAN BE FATAL. Move the victim to a cooler environment. Use cool baths or sponging to reduce body temperature.
(Reference: The American Red Cross)

Tips for Preventing Heat Related Illness
  • Seek Air Conditioning! 
  • Electric Fans  may be useful to increase comfort or to draw cool air into your home at night. Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device during a heat wave. At temperatures above about 100° F, a fan may actually increase heat stress. For example, at 100° F a fan may be delivering overheated air to the skin faster than the body can get rid of this heat with sweating. The net effect is to add heat rather than to cool the body.
  • Be aware of the warning signs of heat related illness, such as light-headedness, mild nausea or confusion, sleepiness or profuse sweating.
  • While outdoors, rest frequently in a shady area.
  • Schedule outdoor activities before noon or in the evening.
  • Wear sunscreen to protect skin from the sun's harmful rays. Sunburn affects your body's ability to cool itself and causes a loss of body fluids.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting, clothing.
  • Stay indoors and in an air-conditioned environment.
  • Increase your fluid intake-- regardless of your activity level. Don not wait until you feel thirsty to drink fluids. Ensure infants and children drink adequate amounts of liquids.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Avoid very cold beverages because they can cause stomach cramps.
Who has the greatest risk of heat related illness?
  • Infants and children up to 4 years of age;
  • Anyone 65 years of age or older;
  • Anyone who is over weight;
  • Anyone who overexerts during work or exercise;
  • Anyone who is ill or on certain medications - Ask your doctor whether medication you take affect your body's response to the heat;
  • Do not leave infants, children, or pets unattended in a parked car.

Additional Links

NWS Heat Wave flyer (PDF)

NWS Terms and Information

FEMA Heat brochure

Heat Information in Spanish
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