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Posted on: July 6, 2021

Know the signs of heat-related illness


The Springfield Fire Department wants to remind our community to be prepared for periods of extreme heat as we enter the hottest part of the summer season. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), extreme heat is responsible for more deaths than any other weather-related hazard.

Tips for beating the extreme heat:

  • Avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.)
  • Wear light-colored clothing. Dark clothing will absorb the sun’s rays.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated.
  • Never leave people or pets alone in a closed car.
  • Check on family members and neighbors.
  • Know where your local cooling centers are located. 

Everyone is susceptible to the effects of heat, but older adults, children and those who have chronic medical conditions are at greater risk of experiencing a heat-related illness. Below are some signs of heat-related illness, along with some of the recommended actions to prevent further problems.

Heat Cramps

  • Signs: Painful muscle pains or cramps in the arms, legs or abdomen.
  • Actions: Move to a cooler location, remove excess layers of clothing and sip cool fluids. If cramps last more than one hour, contact your physician or seek medical attention.

Heat Exhaustion

  • Signs: Heavy sweating, muscle cramps, dizziness, headache, fatigue, pale complexion, nausea and vomiting.
  • Actions: Move to a cooler location, remove excess layers of clothing, and sip cool fluids. Sports drinks will replace the needed electrolytes lost through heavy sweating. If signs or symptoms last more than one hour, seek medical attention.

Heat Stroke

  • Signs: Hot, red skin with no sweating. Body temperature greater than 106 degrees when taken. Dizziness, confusion and unresponsiveness.
  • Actions: Call 9-1-1! Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency and needs to be treated immediately. Use whatever means available to cool the person until help arrives.

“Knowing the signs of heat-related illness and how to respond can mean the difference between life and death. If you or someone you know is experiencing a heat-related emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately,” said Battalion Chief Brian Athen.


For more information, please contact Assistant Chief Kevin Trogdon at 417-874-2300.

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