Overheating Signs and Tips to Cool Down
Staying cool is much, much easier than cooling off once you get hot.
FIRST member Sarah Kimmelman originally put a list together for her son's camp counselors. Then several FIRST members supplemented her list.
- Getting red(er) looking, first in the face and then a whole body flush. This is when you should take a break, drink something cold, and ensure your cooling vest ice packs aren’t melted.
- Getting lethargic and seems tired, slow to respond. Stop current activity and take a break in a cooled environment.
- Seems a little belligerent and defiant, this is really just your mind and body running out of steam. This is when you need to be cooled off right away, a cool shower, drinking lots of water and being in AC are needed at this time.
- Doesn't feel well, this is a general feeling of every system in your body not working too well. This is the last stage before things get really, really, dangerous and serious.
- If others are sweating and feeling hot, you are borderline in danger.
- When getting to that irritable and defiant stage and your stomach feels sick.
- Sometimes an itchy head or tingling forehead as the skin gets redder is an indication of overheating or getting too hot.
- Getting really red, your pulse starts racing and your ears then your throat even gets to feeling numb tingly and even a little difficulty swallowing, you’d better get inside quick.
- Verbal listlessness, struggling to finish a sentence where otherwise could.
- Appears to be hard of hearing, lacks attention to details.
Tips to Cool Off:
- Wearing a hat and using sunscreen are a must. Wetting the hat is even better.
- A water bottle does wonders but so does wetting the shirt and wearing that till it dries.
- A cold wet cloth behind the neck and on the head really helps. Also, one can get over heated in a very short amount of time, so go inside before you feel too hot.
- Run cold water over your pulse points, wrist, forearm and behind your knees helps cool you down quicker.
- Put your hands in ice water.
- Dampened underwear gives some relief.
- Stay home in air conditioning, with minimal light clothes, and if you leave the house, bring cold water and ice in the car, and go from AC car to AC location wherever you are going.
- Try to use skin care products in the summer that are lighter than your typical lotions.
- You or your child may not want to stop and take a break, out of embarrassment of being “different” so be patient and encouraging that it’s okay to take a break or maybe the group could take a break together. Have ice packs on hand or (paper) towels on hand that can be drenched in cold water to cool the body, like around the neck and forehead.
- When overheating people will want you to drink a lot of water. But you can also overdo it with the water. Staying hydrated is so important, but when overheated what helps most is actually cooling down the body externally. A cold water bottle held against your skin is good but air conditioning is best. Remember, it does take a while to cool down again.
- Jump in the cold shower to cool down, but that only lasts so long. Make a towel wet and lay it on top of you.
- Using an umbrella is helpful when having to be outside in the sun for longer periods of time. It makes it a few degrees cooler.