Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke: Symptoms and Prevention
General Health Tips

Heat Exhaustion and Heatstroke: Symptoms and Prevention

7 Mins read

Summer is the time for being outdoors. And this year, in particular, we all deserve to have some fun hanging out with friends responsibly. Apart from observing personal hygiene, make sure you protect yourself and people around you from heat-related illnesses.

Heat exhaustion refers to overheating of the body due to excessive loss of water and salt through sweating. Signs and symptoms include headache, excessive sweating, shortness of breath, cramps, dizziness, weak but rapid pulse, and nausea.

  1. Help them move to and lie down in a cool area
  2. Remove unnecessary clothing
  3. Help them take plenty of fluids
  4. Cool them by moistening their skin with cool water and fanning them
  5. Place cold packs, if available, around armpits or neck
  6. Call for an ambulance if conditions do not improve within 30 minutes

Heatstroke, or sunstroke, is a life-threatening emergency and must be tended to immediately. Heatstroke means body temperature is out of control and increases to around 40 degrees Celsius or above. One prominent sign of heatstroke is that the body stops sweating. Other signs include red and dry skin, dizziness, irrational behaviour, seizures, and coma.

  1. Call for an ambulance immediately
  2. Help them move to a cool area and keep them still
  3. Lay them on their side (recovery position) if unconscious
  4. Help them take cool fluids
  5. Cool them as much as you can - fanning, soaking clothes in cool water, cold packs, etc.
  • Wear long-sleeves, light and loose-fitting fabric; cover as much skin as possible.
  • Hydrate well. Drink a few sips from time to time instead of consuming plenty of fluids at once.
  • When hiking with kids, check their water bottles frequently to ensure that they drink enough water.
  • Wear a wide-brimmed and well-ventilated hat to cover your face and neck.
  • Plan ahead and know where you can find shady areas if needed before your trip.

Stay heat smart, and have yourself a nice summer!


  1. Heat-related illness including heat stroke - Fact sheets
  2. NHS - Heat exhaustion and heatstroke
  3. Verywellfit - How to Avoid Heat Exhaustion During Exercise
  4. CDC - Tips for Preventing Heat-Related Illness | Natural Disasters and Severe Weather

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