What happens when you get heat stroke?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 600 people in the U.S. die from extreme heat-related incidents each year, and there have been 30 heat-related college football player deaths from 2000 to 2018 according to the American Council on Science and Health.


A heatstroke is caused by your body overheating, usually as a result of prolonged exposure to or physical exertion in high temperatures. This most serious form of heat injury and can occur if your body temperature rises to 104 F (40 C) or higher. The condition is most common in the summer months because the weather makes it difficult for your body to cool down.

There are ways to help your body stay cool during the summer months to reduce the risk of experiencing a heatstroke.

  • Wear loose-fitting and/or lightweight clothing to allow your body to cool properly.
  • Protect against sunburn – sunburn affects your body’s ability to cool itself. Be sure to wear a hat, use sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself.
  • Staying hydrated helps your body sweat and maintain a normal body temperature.
  • Take extra precautions with certain medications – some medications affect your body’s ability to stay hydrated and/or dissipate heat.
  • Take it easy during the hottest times of the day – if you cannot avoid strenuous activity during those hours, be sure to drink plenty of fluids and rest frequently in a cool spot. Of course, if you can postpone your activity to either in the morning or evening, then it would be more ideal for your body.
  • Get acclimated – people who are not used to hot weather are especially susceptible to heat-related illness. It can take several weeks for your body to adjust to hot weather. Limit your time working or exercising in heat until you're conditioned to it.
  • Be cautious if you are at increased risk. Act quickly if you notice symptoms of overheating.

Heat strokes are often predictable and preventable. Be mindful of how your body is feeling and be sure to pay attention to how your body is reacting to the environment. Be sure to know all the symptoms of a heat stroke so you can act quickly.

So, what happens when you get a heat stroke? How do you help someone if they are experiencing one? Watch the video below to find out:


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