How To Recognize, Treat and Avoid Heat Stroke

Also called sunstroke, heat stroke is a very serious, life threatening condition. Here's how to recognize it and how to handle it.

Difficulty: Hard

Time Required: A few minutes

Here's How:

  1. If someone's body temperature reaches 105 degrees, they could have heat stroke.
  2. If a person has heat stroke, the person probably isn't sweating much.
  3. With heat stroke, the skin will be hot and red.
  4. The person may be dizzy or nauseous.
  5. If a person has heat stroke, his/her pulse may be rapid.
  6. Immediately call a doctor.
  7. Get the person out of the sun.
  8. Take off the person's outer clothing.
  9. Apply cool water or apply cold packs to the person's body to lower the temperature.
  10. If the person is conscious, provide small sips of salt water.
  11. Do not give any drugs, alcohol or caffeine to the person.
  12. To prevent heat stroke, wear light, loose fitting clothes and a hat in the sun.
  13. Drink a lot of water (even if you don't feel thirsty) to prevent heat stroke.
  14. To prevent heat stroke, take in a little more salt than usual with meals. This helps retain water.
  15. 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.


  1. Understand the difference between heat exhaustion and heat stroke. The first aid is different for each.
  2. 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.
  3. Every year children and pets die in Arizona in cars. Please take tip #2 above seriously.
  4. Sign up for the About Phoenix Desert Heat E-Course, and learn more about coping with heat in the desert. It's free!
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