Did You Know You Could Die From a Heat-Related Illness?
5 Ways to Recognize a Heat-Related Illness
In all heat-related illnesses, the symptoms appear when a person is exposed
to extreme temperatures. The following checklist can help you recognize the
symptoms of heat-related illnesses:
- Heat Rash: Heat rash looks like a red cluster of pimples or
- Heat cramps: Symptoms are painful muscle
spasms in the arms, legs, or abdomen
- Heat syncope (fainting): Symptoms of heat syncope or fainting are
- Heat exhaustion is a warning that the body is getting too hot.
- Heat stroke is a serious, life-threatening condition that occurs when the body loses its ability to control its temperature.
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Heat-related illness facts
- Hyperthermia is overheating of the body.
- Heat-related illness occurs as a result of heat exposure.
- Heat-related illnesses include
- Heat stroke is the most severe form of heat-related illness, and
requires immediate medical attention.
- Certain individuals, such as the
elderly, infants and young children,
outdoor workers, and those with chronic medical conditions are at increased risk
for developing heat-related illness.
- Signs and symptoms of heat-related illness vary based on the
condition, but may include
- Treatment for heat-related illness generally includes moving the
individual out of the hot environment, implementing cooling measures as
needed, rest, and rehydration.
- Prevention of heat-related illness is best accomplished through proper
planning and preparation, such as increasing fluid intake, wearing
appropriate clothing and
sunscreen, remaining in a cool environment,
acclimating yourself to the hot environment, and using common sense.
What is a heat-related illness?
A heat-related illness is a medical condition that may occur as a result of heat exposure. Even short periods of high temperatures can cause serious health problems. Heat-related illness encompasses a spectrum of conditions that range from minor illnesses to life-threatening medical emergencies. There are several heat-related illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, heat syncope (fainting), and heat rash.
Summer can bring heat waves with unusually high temperatures that can last for days and sometimes weeks.
- According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC), there were
7,415 death due to heat-related illness in the United States from 1999 to 2010, or an average of approximately
618 death per year.
- Heat waves lead to more deaths annually in the United States than tornadoes,
earthquakes, floods, and
- In the summer of 1980, a severe heat wave hit the United States, and
approximately 1,700 people lost their lives from heat-related illness; and
in the summer of 2003, tens of thousands of people died in Europe from an extreme heat wave.
- The summer of 2012 heat wave in the United States led to many heat-related deaths, and numerous all-time high temperature records
were broken throughout the United States.
- Most recently, a summer heat wave in Pakistan in 2015 led to more than 1,000 fatalities.
- High temperatures put people at risk.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/6/2016