What is the Difference Between Heat Stroke and Heat Exhaustion?


In the blistering summer heat especially in Florida, children are at risk for heat exhaustion and heat stroke. What is the definition of these terms?

Heat exhaustion usually involves a fever of 104 degrees or less, thirst, fainting, cool & clammy skin, weakness, aching muscles, sweating, slow heartbeat and dizziness.

Heat stroke is a condition that may result from untreated or unrelieved heat exhaustion. Heat stroke takes place when the body temperature rises and the cooling system of the body stops working. This is a potentially life threatening condition that may involve shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, rapid heart rate, and decreased urination.

See Children’s Hosital (Aurora, Colorado) Webiste.

Both heat exhaustion and heat stroke take place due to exercise in hot weather. Preventative or safety measures can be taken by parents, coaches, summer camp counselors, and other to help prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Measures include providing children with frequent breaks, good hydration, and limits to the total play or exercise time for the children.