Font Size

Heat Exhaustion (cont.)

Heat Exhaustion Prevention

Prevention of heat exhaustion is accomplished by taking reasonable precautions. The precautions are as follows:

  • Avoid hot environments when possible (do not sit in a closed vehicle in the summer or do heavy physical work in hot areas without planned cool-down periods).
  • Avoid sunburns.
  • Wear light colored clothing and light-weight clothing that does not fight tightly.
  • Drink a lot of fluids (if your urine frequency slows or your urine seems more concentrated, you need to drink more fluids), and avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Give your body time (at least a few days) to adjust to a hot climate before doing strenuous activities.
  • Check with your pharmacist or doctor to see if your medications may make you more susceptible to heat-related problems (for example, diuretics, sedatives, and stimulants).
  • Infants, children, the elderly, and pregnant women are all more susceptible to heat exhaustion than other individuals because their bodies do not cool as efficiently. Infants, children and some elderly are dependent on others to manage their environment and to take precautionary measures to avoid heat exhaustion.
  • Pregnant women develop more heat intolerance as the pregnancy progresses.
  • Dogs and other animals may also be dependent on others to provide adequate precautions (shade, fluids) in order to avoid heat exhaustion.

Heat Exhaustion Prognosis

If people are treated early and effectively, then the prognosis for heat exhaustion is almost always very good. However, if heat exhaustion is not detected and treated, then heat stroke may develop resulting in possible organ damage, seizures, coma and even death.

REFERENCES: Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion Instruction Sheet. Heat Illness.

R. S. Helman, MD. et al. Heatstroke Differential Diagnoses. Medscape. May 2015

University of Maryland Medical Center. Heat exhaustion.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/23/2015
Medical Editor:

Must Read Articles Related to Heat Exhaustion

Dehydration (Adults)
Dehydration in Adults Dehydration occurs when the loss of body fluids (mostly water), exceeds the amount that is taken in. Causes of dehydration include fever, vomiting, diarrhea, di...learn more >>
Dehydration in Children
Dehydration in Children Dehydration in children can result from not drinking enough liquids, vomiting, diarrhea, or combination of these conditions. Causes of dehydration in children i...learn more >>
First Aid
First Aid First aid is an important skill to learn in case of emergencies. Learn how to prevent injuries, when to seek urgent care for injuries, what to stock in a first ...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Heat Exhaustion:

Heat Exhaustion - Experience

Please share your experience with heat exhaustion.

Heat Exhaustion - Causes

What was the cause of your case, or someone you knows heat exhaustion?

Heat Exhaustion - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with heat exhaustion?

Heat Exhaustion - Treatment

How was your case of heat exhaustion treated?

Heat Exhaustion - Children

Please share your experience with heat exhaustion in a child.

Medical Dictionary