Heat exhaustion can happen to anyone in the triple-digit temperatures that we have in the Phoenix desert. Here is how you recognize heat exhaustion and how to handle it.
Time Required: A few minutes
- If a person has heat exhaustion, he/she may be weak or tired.
- A person experiencing heat exhaustion, he/she could pass out and collapse.
- A person with heat exhaustion may appear pale.
- Heat exhaustion may give a person clammy skin.
- If a person has heat exhaustion, he/she could be sweating profusely.
- A person experiencing heat exhaustion could have either a normal or high temperature.
- If you believe that someone has heat exhaustion, get the person out of the sun.
- Have the person lie down.
- Loosen or remove clothing.
- Fan the person or apply cool water to the person's body to lower the temperature.
- Give the person electrolyte beverages, like Gatorade, or small sips of salt water.
- Do not give any drugs, alcohol or caffeine to the person.
- Watch the person closely. If the person's condition does not improve in a little while, call a doctor.
- To prevent heat exhaustion, wear light, loose fitting clothes and a hat in the sun.
- Drink a lot of water (even if you don't feel thirsty) to prevent heat-related illness.
- Understand the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The first aid is different for each.
- Do not ever leave a child or a pet in your car in the spring or summer in Arizona. Not even for a minute. Not even with the windows open.
- Every year children and pets die in Arizona in cars. Please take tip #2 above seriously.
- Sign up for the About Phoenix Desert Heat E-Course, and learn more about coping with heat in the desert. It's free!