Knowing What to Do When Someone Is Suffering from Heat Exhaustion
As the warm, sunny days of summer approach, it’s important to keep in mind the ways in which sun exposure can affect health and wellness. While spending time out in the sun can improve physical and mental health, overexposure to the sun and hot weather can cause heat exhaustion, a potentially dangerous condition that requires prompt first aid and emergency care . Keep reading to find out more about the symptoms of heat exhaustion and how to treat a friend or loved one who may be suffering from this condition.
Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
Heat exhaustion can manifest in many ways; recognizing the signs of heat exhaustion will help you to take emergency action as soon as possible to reduce the impact of this condition on short- and long-term health. The most common symptoms of heat exhaustion include changes in skin color, excessive sweating, dizziness, fatigue, confusion, headaches, nausea or vomiting, and abdominal pain or cramps. Because heat exhaustion is often linked to dehydration, individuals suffering from heat exhaustion may exhibit symptoms of dehydration as well.
Treatment for Heat Exhaustion
As soon as you notice the symptoms of heat exhaustion, it’s important to take action immediately. Stop any physical activities you may be performing and get out of the sun to reduce body temperature and prevent dehydration. External cooling measures, such as sitting in air conditioning, wetting the skin, or using cold compresses, should be used to lower body temperature. Even if you are able to take these steps, heat exhaustion is still a serious medical condition that needs prompt professional care—you should call 911 or seek transportation to your local emergency room right away.
The West Hills Hospital ER offers round-the-clock emergency care in West Hills for heat exhaustion, chest pain , stroke, and other injuries and illnesses that need immediate care and treatment. We invite you to learn more about our ER and emergency care wait times on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse service at (818) 676-4321.