Prevent Heat Exhaustion With These Steps



By Brandi Monasco

Summer is right around the corner and in many places such as Texas and other southern states, the temperature has already begun to rise. It is getting hotter and many people work outside in the heat.

If you are one of those people, you need to make sure that you take certain precautions to ensure that you are not affected by heat exhaustion.

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body becomes too hot and starts overheating. Normally your body controls its core temperature and cools you off by sweating. When you are exposed to high temperatures for a long period of time, such as working outdoors during the heat of the summer, your body is not able to replace the fluids that your body loses and it is not able to cool itself off.

This then causes your body to produce more heat, causing you to have symptoms of heat exhaustion. If heat exhaustion is not immediately taken care of, it can lead to heat stroke, which is life-threatening.

However, people working outdoors are not the only ones that can suffer from heat exhaustion. Others that are at risk of developing heat exhaustion include:

  • The elderly and children under 5 years of age
  • Pregnant women
  • People that has respiratory disease, hypertension and/or cardiovascular disease
  • Certain medications can also cause heat exhaustion if you plan on being in a hot or humid environment

Symptoms of heat exhaustion:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Sweating
  • Pale and clammy skin
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Thirst
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Muscle and stomach cramps
  • Mild temperature elevations

Protect Yourself!

If you have factors that can put you at risk for heat exhaustion, or if you are planning on working in the heat, there are a few precautions you can take to prevent heat exhaustion:

  • Drink more fluids than usual and make sure that you stay properly hydrated during your time in the heat. Drink 2 cups of water 30 minutes before you plan on being outdoors and then drink 1 cup of water every 20 minutes.


  • Avoid drinking alcohol. Drinking alcohol basically puts your body in “fast-forward” to dehydration.
  • Avoid caffeine. Just like alcohol, caffeine speeds up dehydration.
  • Wear loose and lightweight clothing while outside. Choose to wear cotton/polyester blends. These materials breathe better than 100% cotton.
  • If possible, try to exercise or work outdoors during the cooler times of the day.

If you think that you or someone else is suffering from heat exhaustion, take these steps to ensure that you or the person cools down and lowers their risk for a heat stroke:

  • Get out of the heat and do so quickly. Anyone that is showing signs of heat exhaustion should be removed from the heat and moved to a cool and shady place or a building with air conditioning.
  • Drink cool water. Part of suffering from heat exhaustion is being dehydrated, so you will need to make sure that you rehydrate yourself with lots of water and other fluids. Drink 1 cup of water every 15 minutes. Doing this will also lower your temperature, removing symptoms of heat exhaustion.
  • Rest. Lie down with your legs and feet slightly elevated.
  • If needs be, have someone sponge you with cool water and then fan you. This will help speed up cooling and the evaporation of the water feels very refreshing.

Remember that the key to recovery from heat exhaustion is to take action immediately as soon as you feel or see symptoms starting. The earlier that you or the person is removed from the heat and placed in a cool environment and cooling and hydration begins, the lower the risk of a heat stroke become.

Source, Source

Source: The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies. (2009). New York, NY: Rodale.

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Brandi Monasco

Brandi Monasco

Health Advocate at Gettin' Healthy
Brandi Monasco is a freelance writer, graphic designer and social media manager from Texas. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts and has recently found a new love for health and nutrition.
Brandi Monasco

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