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First Aid & Emergencies

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Understanding Heat-Related Illness -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of Heat-Related Illnesses?

Heat cramp symptoms can include:

  • Severe, sometimes disabling, cramps that typically begin suddenly in the hands, calves, or feet
  • Hard, tense muscles

Heat exhaustion symptoms can include:

Recommended Related to First Aid

Fever Facts

A fever -- also known as a high fever or a high temperature -- is not by itself an illness. It's usually a symptom of an underlying condition, most often an infection. Fever is usually associated with physical discomfort, and most people feel better when a fever is treated. But depending on your age, physical condition, and the underlying cause of your fever, you may or may not require medical treatment for the fever alone. Many experts believe that fever is a natural bodily defense against infection...

Read the Fever Facts article > >

Heat exhaustion requires immediate attention.

Heat stroke symptoms can include:

Heat stroke can occur suddenly, without any symptoms of heat exhaustion. If a person is experiencing any symptoms of heat exhaustion or heat stroke, GET MEDICAL CARE IMMEDIATELY. Any delay could be fatal. Seek emergency medical care for anyone who has been in the heat and who has the following symptoms:

  • Confusion, anxiety, or loss of consciousness
  • Very rapid or dramatically slowed heartbeat
  • Rapid rise in body temperature that reaches 104 degrees to 106 degrees F
  • Either drenching sweats accompanied by cold, clammy skin (which may indicate heat exhaustion) or a marked decrease in sweating accompanied by hot, flushed, dry skin (which may indicate heat stroke)
  • Convulsions
  • Any other heat-related symptom that is not alleviated by moving to a shady or air-conditioned area and administering fluids and salts

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2015

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