Tips for preventing heatstroke and heat exhaustion

Kent Donahue
[email protected]

Health-related disease

Health-Related Illness (Spanish)

ORLANDO, Florida – Summer is here, and so are the high temperatures that can cause heat exhaustion and heatstroke. The Florida Department of Health in Orange County encourages residents and visitors to beat the heat and stay cool with the following tips to prevent heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

  • Stay hydrated – Drink more water than usual. Don’t wait to be thirsty!
  • People at high risk for heat-related illnesses – the very young and very old and people with chronic illnesses – should stay in an air-conditioned environment. If you don’t have air conditioning, go to the mall or the public library.
  • If you must work outside, take frequent breaks. Stay calm. Take it easy when working or exercising in hot weather.
  • Do not leave children or pets in parked cars, even if the windows are open. Cars can quickly reach dangerous temperatures.
  • Protect your skin. Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher.
  • Cover up with a wide-brimmed hat. Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Leave your pets plenty of water in shaded areas.
  • Check local news for extreme heat alerts and safety tips.


Symptoms of heat stroke include extremely high body temperature of 103°F or more, hot, red, dry or moist skin, no sweating, hallucinations, chills, throbbing headache, confusion/dizziness and/or slurred speech.

What to do in case of heat stroke:

  • Dial 911 immediately – heat stroke is a medical emergency
  • Move the person to a cooler place
  • Help lower the person’s temperature with cool cloths or a cool bath
  • Do not give the person anything to drink

Heat exhaustion

Symptoms of heat exhaustion include profuse sweating, extreme weakness or fatigue, dizziness/confusion, nausea, cold and clammy/damp skin, pale or flushed complexion, muscle cramps, body temperature slightly elevated and rapid/shallow breathing.

What to do in case of heat exhaustion:

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen your clothes
  • Put cool, damp towels/rags on your body or take a cool bath
  • sip water

Get medical help right away if:
• You vomit
• Your symptoms are getting worse
• Your symptoms last more than an hour

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Council, strives to protect, promote and improve the health of all Florida residents through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit