- Avoid being outdoors in the hottest part of the day. If you must go out, try going out in the early morning or later evening hours when the sun is not as strong.
- Slow down activities that make you hot. Work and exercise in brief periods.
- Take frequent breaks.
- Dress in light, loose clothing. Wear a hat.
- Drink plenty of cool fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Who is at Risk?
- Elderly people and young children.
- Those who work, exercise, or live outdoors.
- Those with health problems, especially those who are taking certain medications. Please consult your pharmacist or doctor if you have questions.
- Those who have had heat-related illness in the past.
- Those who have heart disease or other conditions that cause poor circulation.
- Those who take medications to eliminate water from the body (diuretics).
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Exhaustion
- Heat cramps: severe muscle contractions, usually in the legs or abdomen.
- Normal or elevated body temperature.
- Dizziness and weakness.
- Rapid, weak pulse becoming irregular.
- Irritable, bizarre or combative behaviour.
How to Help Someone Suffering from Heat Exhaustion
- Call for help (911).
- Move person to cooler location.
- Give cool water slowly and in small sips.
- Remove excess clothing and loosen existing clothing.
- Cool the body, by bathing or sponging - water should be lukewarm to cool.
Source: Canadian Red Cross First Aid - The Vital Link Manual
For more information, contact your local Red Cross office.