Signs of Heat Exhaustion

By Brendan O'Brien

Heat exhaustion occurs when your body's cooling system stops working due to hot temperatures. More simply put, your body must be able to sweat to cool itself and remain at a certain temperature, typically about 98 degrees. If the body cannot keep itself cool through sweat, it overheats, and organs and muscles stop working properly. On the golf course, heat exhaustion can be particularly dangerous because the sufferer could be a long distance from help and a cool place.

High Body Temperature

A high body temperature is a sign of heat exhaustion. A body temperature of above 103 degrees is a red flag. At 106 degrees, the organs fail, which leads to death if not quickly treated.

Outward Symptoms

Heat exhaustion is revealed through the person's skin color and pulse. A symptom of heat exhaustion is flush, hot skin that is not sweaty to the touch. An aggressive pulse is a sign that you are experiencing heat exhaustion.

Other Symptoms

You may experience fatigue, nausea, a headache and cramps. Urine may be dark in color and a low-grade fever may be present.

Quick Treatment

The first step in treatment is to get out of the heat and into a cool, shady location. Lay down with feet elevated and, if possible, remove clothing.

Other Treatment

If you have heat exhaustion, drink plenty of cold water. Someone should also monitor your pulse, temperature and the color of your skin to see if your symptoms are improving.

Medical Emergency

If a golfer has fainted during a round of golf it must be treated as a medical emergency until the time that a doctor can asses the person to make sure the risk of organ damage has passed. 

About The Author

Brendan O'Brien is a professional journalist in Milwaukee, Wis. He has worked for several news organizations, newspapers such as the "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" and trade magazines during his 15-year career. He is currently a freelance writer who works for several publications.


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