Summer sun brings risk of heat exhaustion, heat stroke

      EUGENE, Ore. - Summer is here, and with the sun shining bright, it's hard not to want to take advantage of it.

      But anyone can feel the strength of the heat, not just those working out in it.

      Learn more about:

      Heat exhaustion primarily happens through dehydration and salt depletion, causing you to feel dizzy or weak.

      Heat strokes occur when your body temperature reaches greater than 105 degrees.

      This type of heat injury can leave long term effects such as brain and internal organ damage.

      "You can go into kidney failure, you're so severely dehydrated. You can have a heart attack easier because you're working harder," said Dr. Geoffrey Simmons.

      Doctors say if you're starting to feel dizzy or confused, find some shade and get some water.

      Simmons said the focus is to cool the body down.

      If you think you're having a heat stroke, immediately call 911 and lie down in a cool area.

      "If you have ice packs, put it under their armpits or their groin, try keeping cool and fan them, until help comes," Simmons said.

      Extreme heat is the most common cause of weather-related deaths in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, killing more people on average each year than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, floods, and earthquakes combined.

      Forecasters encourage the elderly and others susceptible to heat illness to watch weather forecasts as temperatures heat up this week and weekend

      Symptoms of Heat-Induced Ailments

      Dehydration - thirst, less frequent urination

      Prickly heat bumps - irritating skin rash

      Cramps - painful muscle contractions

      Edema - swelling of hands and feet

      Exhaustion / Fatigue - characterized by clammy skin, paleness, dizziness, nausea, fever, and headache

      Symptoms of Heat Stroke

      Seek immediate medical help if you or someone else develops the following symptoms. Heat Stroke is the most severe heat illness and is a life-threatening situation.

      Lethargy, sluggishness

      Rapid heart rate and breathing

      Confusion, disorientation, agitation, irritability

      High body temperature

      Intense muscle aches, fever, diarrhea or nausea

      Convulsing, fainting, seizure, loss of consciousness


      Caring for a Heat Stroke Victim Until Help Arrives

      While you are waiting for help to arrive you can assist the person by doing the following:

      Get the person out of the heat to a cooler environment. Take them indoors if possible.

      Fan the person with a newspaper or towel to cool the body.

      Loosen or remove clothing and sprinkle the skin lightly with water.

      Elevate feet to direct blood flow back toward the head.

      If available, apply icepacks to the groin area or armpits.

      Risk of Heat Related Illness

      Some people are at greater risk than others to suffer heat-related illness:

      Infants and young children

      People aged 65 and older

      Those persons who are physically ill, or have heart disease or high blood pressure

      Those persons who must work in / wear protective equipment: helmets, respirators, heavy clothing

      How to Beat the Heat - The Do's and Don'ts:


      Use air conditioners or spend time in air-conditioned locations such as malls and libraries

      Use portable electric fans to exhaust hot air from rooms or draw in cooler air

      Take a cool bath or shower

      Minimize direct exposure to the sun

      Stay hydrated - regularly drink water or other nonalcoholic fluids

      Eat light, cool, easy-to-digest foods such as fruit or salads

      Wear loose fitting, light-colored clothes

      Check on older, sick, or frail people who may need help responding to the heat

      Limit exercise to moderate activity and rest whenever necessary

      Exercise during cooler periods of the day such as the early morning or late evening hours

      Consult your health care provider or pharmacist to see which medicines are affected by excessive heat conditions

      Know the symptoms of excessive heat exposure and the appropriate responses.


      Direct the flow of portable electric fans toward yourself when room temperature is hotter than 90f

      Leave children, the elderly or pets alone in cars for any amount of time

      Drink alcohol, or drinks that contain caffeine or large amounts of sugar to try to stay cool

      Eat heavy, hot, or hard-to-digest foods

      Wear heavy, dark clothing

      Exert yourself excessively