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A heat wave is a prolonged or severe episode of unusually high temperatures sometimes accompanied by high humidity. Heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke are all heat-related illnesses caused by overexposure to heat.

What Actions Should You Take To Be Prepared?

  • Never leave children or pets in a parked car.
  • Stay indoors during the hottest hours when possible.
  • Wear light-weight and light-colored clothing.
  • Drink plenty of water, even if you’re not thirsty.
  • Avoid consuming alcoholic beverages.
  • Avoid salt and salt tablets unless specified by a physician.
  • Spend more time in air-conditioned places.
  • Don’t get too much sun.

Greatest Risk of Heat Related Illness

  • Infants and children up to 4 years of age.
  • People 65 years of age or older.
  • People who are overweight.
  • People who overexert themselves during work or exercise.
  • People who are ill or on certain medications.

Heat Disorders, Symptoms and First Aid


Symptoms — Skin redness and pain, possible swelling, blisters, fever, headaches.

First Aid — Take a shower, using soap to remove oils that may block pores preventing the body from cooling naturally. If blisters occur, apply dry, sterile dressings and get medical attention.

Heat Cramps

Symptoms — Painful spasms usually in leg and abdominal muscles. Heavy sweating.

First Aid — Firm pressure on cramping muscles or gentle massage to relieve spasms. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue.

Heat Exhaustion

Symptoms — Heavy sweating, weakness, cold, pale and clammy skin. Weak pulse. Normal temperature possible. Fainting and vomiting.

First Aid — Get victim to lie down in a cool place. Loosen clothing. Apply cool, wet cloths. Fan or move victim to air-conditioned place. Give sips of water. If nausea occurs, discontinue. If vomiting occurs, seek immediate medical attention.

Heat Stroke

Symptoms — High body temperature (106+). Hot, dry skin. Rapid, strong pulse. Possible unconsciousness. Victim will likely not sweat.

First Aid — Heat stroke is a severe medical emergency. Call 9-1-1 to get the victim to a hospital immediately. Delay can be fatal. Move victim to a cooler environment. Try a cool bath or sponging to reduce body temperature. Use extreme caution. Remove clothing. Use fans and/or air conditioners. DO NOT GIVE FLUIDS.

Possible heat disorders for people in higher risk groups

  • 130°F or higher – Heatstroke/sunstroke highly likely with continued exposure.
  • 105° - 130°F – Sunstroke, heat cramps or heat exhaustion likely, and heatstroke possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
  • 90° - 105°F – Sunstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.
  • 80° - 90°F – Fatigue possible with prolonged exposure and/or physical activity.

Alert Warning

For the latest information on COVID-19 (Corona Virus) please go to: Florida Dept of Health Dixie County Dept of Health

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