Handling Heat-Related Emergencies

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. Because it's so common in summer, heat stroke and other heat-related illnesses can affect anyone, including children, pets, and the elderly. If you see someone who has symptoms of a heat stroke (or if you have them yourself), follow these steps for proper treatment:

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency.

Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. It can be fatal if not treated quickly. The warning signs of heat exhaustion are:

  • Heavy sweating and feeling faint or dizzy
  • Nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea

If you have any of these symptoms, call 911 immediately! You may be having a heat stroke. This means that your body's temperature has risen above 104 degrees Fahrenheit (40 degrees Celsius) and you need immediate medical attention to prevent brain damage or death from occurring within hours of the onset of illness.

Heat stroke occurs when your body no longer produces enough sweat to cool itself down because it has gotten too hot outside--or inside your home--and there is no way for you to cool off by moving somewhere cooler (like into an air-conditioned room). If this happens during summertime heat waves when temperatures soar above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38C), then anyone could become seriously ill very quickly if they don't take steps right away so they don't overheat while doing everyday tasks like walking around outside during daylight hours without taking breaks often enough throughout their daylong activities involving physical labor outdoors under direct sunlight exposure conditions where temperatures could easily rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit with little shade available nearby!

What is heat stroke?

Heat stroke is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body becomes unable to regulate its temperature. The body's internal temperature rises rapidly, and the body's systems begin to shut down.

The symptoms of heat stroke include red, hot skin; a high body temperature (greater than 104 degrees); rapid pulse; and changes in consciousness such as confusion or unconsciousness. If a person shows any symptoms of heat stroke, seek medical attention immediately! While waiting for help to arrive:

  • Cool the person as quickly as possible by removing clothing and applying cool water or damp towels to their skin. Take care not to use ice packs directly on the skin because they can cause frostbite injuries instead of cooling off an overheated individual.
  • Drink plenty of fluids that contain electrolytes such as sports drinks (but don't rely solely on these products if you're exercising intensely over long periods).

Warning signs and symptoms of heat stroke.

Heat stroke is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you or someone else has any of the following symptoms, call 911 immediately:

  • dizziness
  • confusion
  • weakness (lack of muscle power)
  • trouble breathing
  • nausea or vomiting 
  • hot, dry skin 
  • rapid heart rate (tachycardia) 
  • loss of consciousness (syncope)

If you have time to prepare before calling 911:

  • Move the person into the shade and remove extra clothing if possible. Do not put them in cold water! This can cause shock by lowering their core temperature too quickly, which can lead to organ damage and death. Instead, wrap them in towels soaked in cool water if available; alternatively use ice packs wrapped in cloths from around the house such as pillowcases or clothes you don't mind getting wet/dirty/toxic residue from melting plastic containers onto your hands, etc., but make sure these items aren't dripping onto anyone else since that could cause additional problems for others who may get injured trying to help out during an emergency situation!

How can you help someone who has heat stroke?

If you suspect someone is suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately.

If you're able to cool the person down and keep them calm, there are some steps you can take to help them:

  • Call 911 if possible.
  • Cool down the person by placing them in a cool, shady area with their feet up on something higher than their heart level (like a chair). You can also wrap them in a wet towel or sheet if there's one available. Give them water if they appear not fully conscious--but don't force anything into their mouth; they may choke on it! Tilt their head back slightly and raise their legs slightly above heart level (on pillows or blankets) as well.

What about kids, pets, and the elderly?

  • Don't leave kids and pets in cars. You know this, but it bears repeating: Never leave children or animals alone in a vehicle. A parked car can reach deadly temperatures within minutes in the summer heat. If you see an animal trapped inside a hot car (or even just feel like something's not right), call 911 immediately and get help from law enforcement officials or animal control officers who will have the tools needed to rescue them safely.
  • Stay alert for elderly people who may need help during hot weather conditions. Elderly people are particularly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses because their bodies don't sweat as efficiently as younger people's do; they also tend to drink less water due to decreased thirst sensation and because they often live alone without anyone checking on them regularly during hot days--and sometimes those factors combine into one deadly combination! Make sure that if there are any seniors living near your neighborhood who could be at risk during these dangerous days of summer (like nursing home residents), check in on them regularly throughout each day so nothing bad happens unexpectedly while no one else is around."


  • If you see someone suffering from heat stroke, call 911 immediately.
  • Help the person get out of the sun and into a cool place as soon as possible. If they're wearing clothes that are soaking wet or made of heavy material, remove them so they aren't too hot. Do not try to force water down their throat if they can't swallow--it could make their condition worse! Instead, wrap them in a cool towel or put ice packs on their body (but not near the head). Make sure there are no obstructions around them that might cause injury if they start convulsing--like sharp edges on tables or chairs nearby--and keep an eye on them until medical professionals arrive at your location.
  • If you have children who suffer from heat exhaustion due to playing outside too long during hot weather: DO NOT give them anything with caffeine in it such as soda pop because this could make matters worse for both adults and kids alike! Instead, offer something like juice made from fresh fruits such as oranges which contain antioxidants called flavonoids which help protect against oxidative stress caused by excessive exercise during hot weather conditions like these.


Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency. If you see someone with signs of heat stroke, you should call 911 immediately and begin cooling them down. If possible, remove clothing and blankets from the victim to help them cool off faster. You can also give them water or ice packs if they're conscious enough to swallow safely.


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