How To Know If You Are Getting “Heat Stoke” … or “Heat Exhaustion”

Do not take this lightly. 

Listen, I grew up in Alabama … in SOUTH Alabama where the outdoor temperatures were “like an oven on broil,” every summer.  

As a kid, running around in my bare feet, HOPING for an afternoon thunderstorm so that I could dance around in the deluge that poured off my house, I had no idea about how bad the heat could be for you, when you essentially bake your brain like a loaf of bread in your skull!! 

But today, we do know about the dangers. And, while we shouldn’t be freaked out about the heat, we shouldn’t be clueless either. The best solution is to be educated. 

So, below is a reference guide for you, to show us the difference between “Heat Exhaustion” and “Heat Stroke”, and to know the signs/symptoms of each. 

Heat Exhaustion 

Heat Exhaustion comes from dehydration and can lead to the potentially fatal heat stroke. When you get too hot the body’s reaction is to sweat for temperature control. Not replenishing these lost fluids properly can lead to more extreme heat exhaustion or even heat stroke.

Signs of Heat Exhaustion 
Pale moist cool skin
Rapid breathing, panting
Profuse sweating 

Muscle cramps
If you suspect someone has heat exhaustion have them get into the shade or into an air conditioned location and elevate their feet a bit. Try to cool them down via cool compresses, especially on neck and armpits. Replenishing water without gorging is the key so have them drink cup water every 15 minutes. If they continue to show signs of heat exhaustion and aren’t improving, seek a doctor’s help.

Heat Stroke 

Heat Stroke is where the body’s ability to cool itself by sweating is shut down. All temperature control is removed and the body overheats. Much like a car overheating the body can not work properly without a proper cooling system. Heat stroke can be fatal, and can make its sufferer slip into a coma if not treated speedily.

Signs of Heat Stroke 
Dry hot red skin
No longer sweating
Rapid but shallow breathing
Rapid but weak pulse 


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