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Here's what to know about the symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion

Know the signs of these heat-related illnesses to keep yourself and others safe this summer.

DALLAS — Updated at 4:48 p.m. with the recorded temperature for the day. 

As temperatures neared 100 degrees in North Texas Sunday with heat indices even higher, MedStar reminded people to be careful while outdoors and to stay hydrated.

DFW International Airport recorded a temperature of 99 degrees Sunday, making it officially the hottest day of 2021 so far. The record high for June 13 was in 1911 when it hit 105 degrees.

On Saturday, MedStar treated nine people for heat-related emergencies in Tarrant County. Six of those people required hospitalization and four were in serious condition. As of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, MedStar had implemented its extreme weather response protocol as the heat index soared above 105 degrees. 

With that said, it's important to know the signs of these heat-related illnesses to keep yourself and others safe this summer.

“If you start experiencing severe headaches, cramps, lightheadedness, dizziness, nauseousness — get out of the heat, and put wet towels around your neck,” said Brian White, a supervisor for MedStar.

Over at Klyde Warren Park, there were dozens of people out in the sun Sunday. Patrick Doolin is the owner of Patrick’s Pops. He says he doesn’t have a choice but to work and make up for lost revenue in the pandemic.

“Last year was really tough, sales were way off,” said Doolin.

Others have been waiting to get out, since they’ve been cooped up for so long.

“They want to be out, we made sure they came out later in the day,” said Steven Davis, from the Dallas area. It's refreshing to see people getting active in the community."

Here are the signs to look out for in these various heat-related illnesses:

Heat Cramps:

  • Often the first stage in a heat emergency
  • Symptoms include muscle pain and tightness
  • Rest in a cool place and drink something with electrolytes and salt or cool water to replenish your body

Heat Exhaustion:

  • Heat exhaustion can send patients to the hospital and happens when someone loses large amounts of water and salt due to excessive sweating, especially from physical labor or exercise, according to MedStar officials. 
  • The loss of fluids can interfere with your body's circulation and brain function
  • Symptoms of heat exhaustion can include heat cramps, paleness, clammy skin, heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, fast or weak pulse, fatigue, headache, nausea, vomiting, fainting
  • If someone is experiencing the signs of heat exhaustion, have them move to a cooler location, lie down, remove or loosen clothing, and apply cool and wet cloths to their body. Have them sip water as well.


  • This is the most serious heat-related illness and can happen in less than an hour, according to MedStar officials, especially if you are participating in strenuous activity. It can be life-threatening.
  • Heatstroke happens when someone's body is no longer able to cool itself after long, intense exposure to the heat. 
  • Symptoms include the absence of sweating, hot/dry/red skin, pulsing headache, strong or rapid pulse, confusion, vomiting, shortness of breath, body temperature at 104 to 106 degrees, seizure activity, unconsciousness
  • If you believe someone has heatstroke, call 911 right away.
  • Check them for a pulse and watch their breathing, start CPR if necessary.
  • Move them to a cooler location, have them lie down or sit under a fan, apply cool and wet cloths or ice packs to their body.

How to prevent heat exhaustion or heatstroke

  • Hydrate: MedStar officials say you should make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if doing any outdoor or strenuous activities. 
  • Ventilate: Stay somewhere cool during the day with plenty of airflow. If indoors without air conditioning, MedStar officials say to make sure you open the windows and turn on a fan. 
  • Cover Up:  While it might seem counterintuitive, covering up with loose-fitting and light-colored clothing can actually keep you cooler. How? The clothes and a hat can help shield you from absorbing the heat of the sun. Once you feel yourself getting warm though, you should remove a hat or any items from your head that could trap your body heat.
  • Limit Activity: Try not to engage in strenuous activity for long periods of time outside on a hot day and take frequent breaks in a place out of the sun while you do. Make sure to drink water before, during and after your time outside as well.    
  • Check on Loved Ones: Children and elderly people are especially vulnerable to high heat, but they might be unaware of hot it is around them, so be sure to check in on them regularly to make sure they're OK.

MedStar officials also warn you to not push your limits when it comes to extreme weather. When it comes to heat-related illnesses, they can be fatal if untreated.

Remember to download the WFAA app to check one of our dozens of local radars near you as well as the latest forecast, cameras and current conditions.

WFAA digital producer Jennifer Prohov and WFAA reporter Malini Basu contributed to this report.

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