Heat stroke 101

Heat stroke is the the most severe form of heat injury. It’s a physical reaction that happens when your body overheats, and is usually due to prolonged exposure to heat or physical exertion in high temperatures. If your body temperature rises to 104 F or higher, you could be at risk of heat stroke and could require emergency treatment.

According to an ER doctor, watch out for the warning signs: dehydration, headache, nausea and profuse sweating could all indicate heat stroke. Left untreated, it could be fatal.

Tips to avoid heat stroke:

  • Limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure.
  • Drink before you feel thirsty — and drink fluids that contain electrolytes if you are sweating.
  • Shed layers and wear loose-fitting, lightweight clothing, and a hat.
  • Stay in air conditioned environments when possible.
  • Don’t have AC? Head to a library, grocery store or shopping mall. If you live in L.A., Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, call 2-1-1 from any phone for a list of cooling center options; Call nearby cooling centers in advance to ensure there’s space available.
  • Be especially cautious of exposure if you are taking blood pressure, allergy or psychiatric medication — high temperatures can affect your ability to stay hydrated and dissipate heat.
  • Check in on the elderly to ensure they are safe during heat waves.

If you think you or someone you know is experiencing heat stroke, seek immediate medical help by calling 911.

Learn more about how to avoid heat stroke.

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