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Heat Related Illness

EMS would like to remind everyone to stay safe in the heat and sun this season. While children, elderly and individuals with varying underlying health conditions may be more susceptible to the effects of heat and sun, all should take basic prevention measures to avoid a heat-related illness during periods of hot and humid weather. 

Heat exhaustion

  • Patients may suffer headaches, weakness, fatigue, nausea/vomiting, thirst, chills, and profuse sweating.
  • The patient is usually cold and damp to the touch and the skin may appear pale, or dusky gray.
  • Heat exhaustion can occur due to excessive fluid loss during periods of prolonged sweating in a hot and/or humid environment (indoors or outdoors);

 Heat stroke

  • Heat stroke is a medical emergency which, without prompt treatment, could be fatal;
  • It occurs when the body is unable to cool itself naturally (e.g., perspiration). The body’s temperature will continue to rise to dangerous levels;
  • Due to severe dehydration and the inability to sweat, the patient may appear flushed, and the skin may be hot and dry to the touch.

 First aid

  • First aid for all heat-related illnesses begins with removing or sheltering the patient from the hot environment;
  • Remove excess, or tight-fitting clothing, and allow them to rest in a cool environment;
  • If the patient is conscious and alert, provide suitable fluids such as water, juice, or a sports drink;
  • If you are concerned, seek medical attention.


  • Stay well-hydrated by drinking water;
  • Be aware that excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption may promote dehydration;
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face and neck;
  • Apply (and reapply) waterproof

For more safety information and safety tips, visit the Calgary EMS website at

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