WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW:
Heat exhaustion is when your body overheats. Heat exhaustion happens when you do intense physical activity in hot conditions without drinking enough liquids.
Follow up with your primary healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
First aid for heat exhaustion:
- Move to an air-conditioned location or a cool, shady area and lie down. Raise your legs above the level of your heart.
- Drink cold liquid, such as water or a sports drink.
- Mist yourself with cold water or pour cool water on your head, neck, and clothes.
- Loosen or remove as many clothes as possible.
- If you do not feel better in 1 hour, go to the emergency department.
Prevent heat exhaustion:
When you exercise or are somewhere with a high temperature and humidity:
- Wear lightweight, loose, and light-colored clothing.
- Protect your head and neck with a hat or umbrella when you are outdoors.
- Drink lots of water or sports drinks. Avoid alcohol.
- Eat salty foods, such as salted crackers, and salted pretzels.
- Limit your activities during the hottest time of the day. This is usually late morning through early afternoon.
- Use air conditioners or fans and have enough proper ventilation. If there is no air conditioning available, keep your windows open so air can circulate.
Contact your primary healthcare provider if:
- Your signs and symptoms do not improve with treatment.
- You have muscle cramps or twitching.
- You have nausea and vomiting.
- You have numbness or prickling feeling in your arms or legs.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Return to the emergency department if:
- You cannot stop vomiting.
- You are confused or cannot think clearly.
- You cannot move your arms and legs.
- You have trouble breathing.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.