What is the treatment for heat illness?

Heat stroke

Call 911 immediately.

The best treatment for heat stroke is immediate cooling in an ice bath. It takes ice and water to efficiently cool the body. Do not delay. If heat stroke occurs at a location where an ice bath is not possible, move the individual to a cool area if indoors or a cool, shady area if outdoors. Loosen or remove the person’s clothing. Have the person lie down and slightly elevate the feet. Cool the person as quickly as possible. Wet the person’s skin with cool water, place cool cloths or ice all over the body, spray the person with a garden hose or soak the person’s clothes with cold water. Check the person’s temperature and continue these efforts until his/her temperature is 101°F or lower. Do NOT give the person fluids to drink. Continue your efforts until medical help arrives.

Heat exhaustion

While waiting for medical help, move the individual to a cool area if indoors or to a cool, shady area if outdoors. Give the person cool water to drink in small sips. Cool head, face, and neck with cold ice packs, cold cloths or cold water. When symptoms improve, take the individual to a clinic or emergency room to be seen by a nurse or doctor.

Heat cramps

Heat cramps usually can be treated by rest and fluids. The person should stop the activity and rest in a cool place. Have him/her drink apple or grape juice or a sports drink in small sips every 15 to 20 minutes. He or she should rest for several hours before going back to work or exercise.

Heat rash

Talcum powder will soothe heat rash. Do not apply lotions or ointments. To prevent heat rash from coming back, the skin must be kept dry.

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