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18 Warning Signs of Heat Stroke

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18 Warning Signs of Heat Stroke

High temperatures claim more lives in the United States than tornadoes, hurricanes, floods and lightning combined — around 700 a year, making it the number one weather-related killer in the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to compensate and properly cool themselves. The body normally cools itself by sweating. But under some conditions, sweating just isn’t enough. In such cases, a person’s body temperature rises rapidly.

Very high body temperatures may damage the brain or other vital organs. Better understanding can help prevent more deaths, some officials say, by encouraging people to take measures such as drinking fluids and seeking relief in an air-conditioned building, even if for just a few hours a day.

Several factors affect the body’s ability to cool itself during extremely hot weather. When the humidity is high, sweat will not evaporate as quickly, preventing the body from releasing heat quickly. Other conditions related to risk include age, obesity, fever, dehydration, heart disease, mental illness, poor circulation, sunburn, and prescription drug and alcohol use. What are the warning signs of a heat stroke? The CDC recommends looking for these signs.

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

120 comments

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2:59AM PDT on Jun 11, 2013

Needed a brush-up on heat stroke and heat exhaustion for summer. Thanks for sharing.

8:26AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

good to know

10:39PM PDT on May 20, 2012

Thank you! Scary!

12:31AM PDT on Apr 24, 2012

Thanks for sharing.

4:35PM PDT on Sep 11, 2011

Thanks

1:51PM PDT on Aug 10, 2011

Thank you for sharing this with the Care2 Community.
Peace, Tia

5:39AM PDT on Jul 27, 2011

To prevent dehydration it's necessary to give a cup of water with salt. After the pick of the crisis some patients got muscle cramps, so they need a massage.

1:50PM PDT on Jul 26, 2011

Good information to remember. Hope I never have to use it!

8:31PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

One thing I have heard is avoid caffeinated beverages such as Coca-Cola. There's nothing that slakes thirst quite like good ol' water!

5:37PM PDT on Jul 22, 2011

Thank you for the article.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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