How to Spot Heat Stroke

Summertime heat means higher temperatures and the possibility of serious health problems. Be sure to learn the symptoms of heat stroke.

Outdoor fun is one of the best things about summer, but extremely hot weather can be cause for concern. When outdoor temperatures rise, your body temperature can also increase drastically. Heat stroke and other heat illnesses generally occur from staying out in the heat too long.

Spotting Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is the most serious heat-related illness. This potentially deadly condition occurs when the body is unable to control its own temperature through sweating. People with a higher risk of developing heat stroke include infants, children four years old and younger, people over the age of 65 and people who are overweight or obese. Warning signs of heat stroke provided by the Centers for Disease Control include:

  • Body temperature above 103°F
  • Red, hot and dry skin
  • Rapid, strong pulse
  • Throbbing headache
  • Dizziness and/or confusion
  • Nausea
  • Unconsciousness

Dealing with Heat Stroke

If someone you are with is experiencing the signs of heat stroke, or feels ill because they are hot, move the victim to a shady or indoor area. Be sure to use whatever methods you can to help cool the victim’s body temperature while someone calls for emergency help. If possible, immerse the person in a bath tub of cool water or lay wet towels on their skin. Sponging the person with cool water may also help.

Time is of the essence when dealing with heat stroke and it’s important that the victim receive medical assistance as soon as possible. Don't delay.

Preventing Heat Stroke

To prevent heat stroke, drink plenty of fluids such as water and sports drinks. Avoid alcoholic beverages because they contribute to dehydration. Avoid exercising in hot places and if possible, stay indoors or seek shade on hot days. If you work outdoors, take breaks as frequently as possible.

To learn more about heat stroke, visit our Health Library. To learn more about Denton Regional Medical Center and the services we offer, visit us online or call us at 1-855-477-DRMC for a physician referral.

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