Heat exhaustion can catch you by surprise. It can happen from not drinking enough fluids or playing too much in dangerously hot weather and ranges from mild heat cramps all the way to heatstroke.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion almost always start to show themselves right after the excessive exercise, heavy perspiration and/or inadequate fluid or salt intake.
Signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
• Feeling faint or dizzy
• Heavy sweating
• Rapid, weak heartbeat
• Low blood pressure
• Cool, moist, pale skin
• Low-grade fever
• Cramps in muscles or stomach
• Dark-colored urine
If you suspect heat exhaustion:
• Get the person out of the sun and into a shady or air-conditioned location.
• Lay the person down and elevate the legs and feet slightly.
• Loosen or remove the person’s shirt, pants/shorts and socks.
• Have them drink cool water or other non-caffeinated beverages.
• Cool the person by spraying or sponging them with cool water and fanning.
• Monitor the person carefully. Heat exhaustion can quickly become heatstroke.
• If fever is higher than 102 F (38.9 C), fainting, confusion or seizures occur, call 911 or get emergency medical help.
If you suspect a child or adult is suffering from heat exhaustion or she’s showing some of the signs above, take them to a medical doctor as soon as possible. It’s best not to take any chances!