What Are the Signs of Heatstroke and How Can I Prevent it?

According to Steven Beenstock, DO, family medicine physician at Bon Secours Medical Group, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network (WMCHealth), when the heat index rises above 90°F, so does your risk for heatstroke.

Heatstroke is the medical emergency that occurs when your core temperature rises above 104°F due to exposure to elevated temperatures. “Someone suffering from heatstroke will feel hot, with red, dry skin and shallow breathing. There will be neurologic symptoms, such as headache, dizziness, muscle weakness and nausea,” Dr. Beenstock explains.

If you suspect someone is suffering from heatstroke, Dr. Beenstock says it’s vital to call 911 immediately. “After you’ve called 911, while you’re waiting for EMS to arrive, move him or her to a cool, shaded area, fan him or her with cool air and use a sponge or garden hose to lower his or her temperature, using cool water,” he says.

Here are Dr. Beenstock’s tips for avoiding heatstroke:

  • Avoid being outside in excessive heat.
  • Wear light clothing, sunscreen and a hat.
  • Stay hydrated by drinking liquids before you go outside, then continue to drink 2 to 3 cups of water every hour you are outside.