Heat stroke — which can be fatal if not treated immediately — may occur if signs of heat exhaustion are ignored. They include sweating, rapid heart rate, lightheadedness, headache, low blood pressure, muscle cramps, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
If heat exhaustion is suspected, find a place to rest, drink water and move to a cooler setting. If a person becomes confused and has an elevated body temperature of greater than 104 degrees, they require emergency care, Valdez advised.
One way to prevent heat exhaustion is to drink water early in the day and while in the heat.
“Fluids with electrolytes are very helpful but not necessary,” Valdez said. “If you are going to be outdoors for extended periods, acclimatize yourself to the heat by spending only a few hours outdoors at first and adding more time in the outdoors over a span of two weeks.”
High humidity may contribute to heat exhaustion, so wear cool clothing and take breaks from the heat.