Also called sunstroke, heat stroke is a very serious, life threatening condition. Here's how to recognize it and how to handle it.
Time Required: A few minutes
- If someone's body temperature reaches 105 degrees, they could have heat stroke.
- If a person has heat stroke, the person probably isn't sweating much.
- With heat stroke, the skin will be hot and red.
- The person may be dizzy or nauseous.
- If a person has heat stroke, his/her pulse may be rapid.
- Immediately call a doctor.
- Get the person out of the sun.
- Take off the person's outer clothing.
- Apply cool water or apply cold packs to the person's body to lower the temperature.
- If the person is conscious, provide small sips of salt water.
- Do not give any drugs, alcohol or caffeine to the person.
- To prevent heat stroke, 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 stroke.
- To prevent heat stroke, take in a little more salt than usual with meals. This helps retain water.
- If you are out in the desert heat walking, hiking or playing sports make sure you carry a phone with you. Never hike or play golf alone during the heat of the summer.
- 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!