Don’t fry: 3 stages of heat stroke you need to know

This weekend, a dangerous heat wave will blanket roughly two-thirds of the nation, with officials from Wisconsin to Boston declaring heat emergencies. On Saturday, more than 100 local heat records are expected to be broken, as temperatures remain high even at night, according to the National Weather Service.

So, it’s critical to stay cool. That’s especially true for seniors, small children, and people who actively participate in outdoor activities, such as construction workers and athletes.

Feeling dizzy or sluggish outside on a scorching day could be your body signaling a more serious condition.

Don’t ignore these three stages of heat-related illnesses:

1. Heat cramps

The first stage is heat cramps. Severe muscle spasms occur as a result of salt and water loss following exertion, most often in the hands, calves, and feet. Muscle spasms can spontaneously stop on their own, but lingering symptoms of soreness often persist for 24-48 hours.

2. Heat exhaustion

Next is actual heat exhaustion. More than just feeling fatigued, heat exhaustion is a serious condition caused by exposure to high temperatures, humidity, and strenuous physical activity.

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