100 WVIA Way
Pittston, PA 18640

Phone: 570-826-6144
Fax: 570-655-1180

Copyright © 2022 WVIA, all rights reserved. WVIA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Heat stroke, heat exhaustion create threats during Central PA heat wave

Kids can be more vulnerable to heat-related illness, and it takes them longer to acclimatize to sudden hot weather.
Jim Watson
AFP via Getty Images
Kids can be more vulnerable to heat-related illness, and it takes them longer to acclimatize to sudden hot weather.

With a five-day heat wave hitting Central Pennsylvania, heat stroke and heat exhaustion medical emergencies will likely be on the rise. Both have similar causes — the body not being able to cool itself down — but heat stroke can be life-threatening.

This heat wave could be especially dangerous because of the humidity that comes with it. Sweat evaporates and helps the body cool down, but when there’s lots of moisture in the air, the sweat has nowhere to go.

The elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions are at the highest risk. some medications can affect the body’s ability to cool itself.

Patient First’s Dr. Simon Boulattouf said young people shouldn’t ignore the warning signs. He said he has treated plenty of young and otherwise healthy individuals who needed medical assistance after exercising too hard in the heat, so people should take precautions.

“Have light clothing on and make sure you hydrate,” Boulattouf said. “The key thing is keeping your skin at a cooler temperature.”

Once someone starts showing signs of heat exhaustion, Boulattouf said, it’s time to start cooling down. They should move to an air-conditioned area if possible, continue hydrating and stop strenuous outdoor activity.

However, anyone experiencing heat stroke should call 911 or go to an emergency room straight away for professional care.

The CDC offers guidance on recognizing signs that someone is experiencing a heat-related health emergency.

Symptoms of heat stroke

  • High body temperature (103 F or higher) 
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • Fast, strong pulse
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Confusion 
  • Losing consciousness

Symptoms of heat exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating 
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Losing consciousness