Heat stress disorders and its prevention

Heat stress disorders and its prevention

Heat stress disorders

They are a group of physically related illnesses caused by prolonged exposure to hot temperatures, restricted fluids intake, or failure of temperature regulating mechanisms of the body. Heat stress disorders might be harmful to all age groups, but their severity is greatest in young children and the elderly. Other risk groups of heat stress disorders are pregnant and nursing mothers, people with the medication of mental illness, people with high blood pressure, heart diseases.

Some types of health stress disorders

Heat stroke: They are life-threatening and most serious among all heat stress disorders. In this the body’s temperature rises rapidly, the sweating mechanism fails and the body is unable to cool down. Body temperature can rise to 106 degrees F or higher within 10+-15 minutes when heat strokes occur.

Heat Syncope: Heat syncope is a fainting episode or dizziness that usually occurs with prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization.

Heat exhaustion: Heat exhaustion is caused by exposure to high heat and humidity for many hours, resulting in excessive loss of fluids and salts through heavy perspiration. The skin may appear cool, moist and pale. Headache, nausea, dizziness, faintness, and mental confusion are among the many symptoms of heat exhaustion.

Heat rash (Prickly heat):  This is a skin irritation caused by excessive sweating. It can occur among people of any ages but mainly in young children. It looks like a red cluster of pimples or small blisters. Mostly occurs in the region were sweat gets chance to get accumulated such as the neck, in the groin, under breasts, and in the elbow creases.

Prevention of heat stress disorders:

  • Wear appropriate clothing, lightweight, light-colored, lose fitting clothes.
  • While indoors, stay in an air-conditioned place as much as possible. Taking a cool shower also helps.
  • While scheduling outdoor activities, try to limit the exposure to the sun to the loo. Try to schedule when it’s cool, like in morning and evening. Keep resting in shady areas as the body gets a chance to recover.
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Do not leave children in the car.


The main preventive measure for heat stress disorder is to stay cool as much as possible.



  1. CDC
  2. betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/heat-stress-and-heat-related-illness
  3. www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html