Heat exhaustion

When your body temperature is too high it can result in severe exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion is unusual exhaustion that results from being in the heat too long. It is associated with heavy perspiration, fatigue, lightheadedness, and a rapid pulse. The illness can occur after being in the heat for several days without adequate water intake.

Prevent heat exhaustion

Stay safe when you are in the heat.

  • Stay cool. Take breaks from being in the heat and humidity for long periods of time.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after being in the heat.
  • Stay aware. Know how your body is responding to the heat.

Be prepared for the heat

If you must be in the heat, plan to take breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas. Bring an adequate amount of water. Know the symptoms and signs of when your body needs to cool down and know what to do if you begin to feel too hot or unusually tired. Children, elderly, and the obese are the most susceptible to heat exhaustion.

How do you treat heat exhaustion?

If you have symptoms associated with heat exhaustion, take immediate measures to cool down and hydrate.

  • Rest in air-conditioning or a shaded/fanned area
  • Loosen or remove excess clothing
  • Lay down with your feet above your heart
  • Apply cold compresses

Treat dehydration by drinking water and an electrolyte drink. It is important to continue drinking water over time.

Take your temperature and repeat every 30 minutes for the following three to four hours. Ensure you are cooling down and the illness is not returning.

Illustration of heat illness

Heat illness affects everyone: you, your family, your neighbors, your customers.

PDF iconUse this one-page guide to spread awareness of the dangers of heat illness.

Last reviewed: 
June 2018

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