The Difference Between Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke

If I haven't experienced someone close to me suffering from heat exhaustion, I would not have realized how important it was to watch out for the signs.

Last month, while we were in Coldwater for my son's soccer tournament, I had watched him collapsing to the ground, right after the game. The weather was cloudy, and wet! He had a supply of Gatorade and water for drinking. So I thought everything was fine! I didn't take into consideration that humidity played an important part in the grand scheme.

JoJo Jumped Up for a Chest Goal

Picture Courtesy of Todd Butkowski

My son ran toward us, saying that he could not breathe, and collapsed right on the ground. We gave him water to drink, and called out for his coach, who luckily was studying to be an EMD (emergency driver, I think that is what EMD stands for!)

By this time, my son had a circle of people around him with curiosities and worries! Derek, his coach, applied cold towels on his forehead, his chest, his belly, and took off his soccer foot gears. He tried to get JoJo's breathing pattern back to normal while cooling off his body.


Picture Courtesy of Todd Butkowski

JoJo played hard, sweat like crazy, and his cheeks were flushed! Though he used to drink two bottles of water for every game, but this time he only took a few sips and resulting in dehydration! Since this was a Regional tournament, the parents had to sit on the opposite site of the field, and I was not able to remind him to drink.


Picture Courtersy of Todd Butkowski

If you are going to be outside this summer, here are the signs to tell between heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:
  • Muscle cramps
  • Headache
  • Heavy perspiring
  • Nausea
  • Weakness and or dizziness
  • Dry Mouth
  • Pale or flushed skin
  • Lethargy
What to Do:
  • Go in the shaded area
  • Drink some water
  • Cool off with wet towels, or any way you can
  • If the symptoms don't go away, seek medical attention
Heat Stroke (Life Threatening) Symptoms:
  • Tempareture above 103 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Hot
  • Dry
  • Red skin
  • Not sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion/disorientation
  • Hallucinations
  • Loss of consciousness
What to Do:
  • Call 911
  • Get the person to the shaded area
  • Cool the body off however you can
  • Do not give fluids
  • If the person suffers from convulsion, keep him/her from hurting himself/herself
Summer is in full swing now, and chances are we will be spending more time outside. Just make sure you're drinking plenty of water, watch out for the signs of heat exhaustion, while enjoying the summer.

(Reposting from my old blog WT) Registered & Protected


Self Sagacity October 12, 2013 8:25 pm  

This is very good to know! I am always afraid T suffers from dehydration, she is lazy about drinking.

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