Protecting Yourself and Your Family Against Heat-Related Illness


What is Heat-Related Illness?

Heat-related illness is caused by exposure to high heat, and can cause significant health impacts leading to hospitalization or death, if not promptly treated. 

There are several types of heat-related illness: Heat cramps, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke. Heat cramps are the lest serious and do not require medical treatment in most cases. Heat stroke is a medical emergency which requires swift emergency medical attention. If you suspect heat stroke, do not hesitate to call 9-1-1. 

Risk Factors for Heat-Related Illness Include: 

  • High humidity: high humidity prevents sweating, which 
  • Age: people over 65 and under 2 are most susceptible to heat-related illness
  • Chronic Disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Outdoor labor
  • Manual labor
  • Exercise
  • Dehydration/poor hydration
  • Alcohol consumption

Preventing Heat-Related Illness

  • Be situationally aware: check weather forecast and plan ahead so that you are prepared 
    • Check for updates from the Middletown Department of Health, CT Department of Public Health, CDC, and other health organizations
  • Stay hydrated: drink plenty of water throughout the day and before and after exposure to high heat. Do not wait until you become thirsty. 
    • Avoid alcoholic beverages, which can be dehydrating
  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings or cool areas as much as possible
  • Limit time outdoors, especially at midday when the temperatures are usually the hottest
  • Wear sunscreen and reapply as directed
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, clothing
    • Dark clothing absorbs heat better than light clothing
    • If you are wearing a mask, move 6 feet away from others and remove it if you begin to feel too hot or have trouble breathing
  • Take cool baths or showers to cool down
  • Do NOT leave people or animals in a hot car
  • Do not rely on a fan for all cooling during a heat event

Recognizing Heat-Related Illness

Rapidly recognizing and treating heat-related illnesses is vital for preventing severe, long-term health impacts. 

Heat Cramps: 

  • Heavy Sweating during exercise
  • Muscle pains or spasms

Heat Exhaustion

  • Heavy sweating (with or without exercise)
  • Cold, pale, and/or clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fainting

Heat Stroke

Heat stroke is a medical emergency. If you believe you or someone else is suffering from heat stroke, immediately call 9-1-1 or seek emergency medical care

  • Body temperature over 103 degrees F
  • Hot, red, dry, or damp skin
  • headache
  • Dizziness 
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Loss of Consciousness

Treating Heat-Related Illness

Heat Cramps:

  • Stop physical activity
  • Move to cool place
  • Drink water/sports drink
  • Wait until cramps go away before resuming activity

Seek Medical Care If:

  • Cramps last longer than 1 hour
  • You are on a special low-sodium diet
  • You have a history of heart problems

Heat Exhaustion

  • Move to a cool place
  • Loosen restrictive or warm clothing
  • Apply cool wet cloths or take a cool bath

Seek Medical Care If:

  • You are vomiting
  • Symptoms are worsening or last more than 1 hour

Heat Stroke:

  • Call 9-1-1 immediately to seek emergency medical care
  • Do not give the person anything to drink
  • Move the person to a cool place out of the sun
  • Apply cool cloths or have the person get into a cool bath, if it is safe for them to do so


Sunburns are caused by excessive exposure to UV rays from the sun (or other sources). Most sunburns are mild and do not require However, the UV rays causing sunburns are known to increase risk for skin cancers. Therefore, it is vital for long-term health to prevent sunburns. 


  • Apply sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher
    • Reapply every 2 hours, after swimming/getting wet, toweling off, or excessive sweating
    • Check that the sunscreen is not expired 
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible
  • Wear a hat with a brim that shades the face, ears, and back of the neck
  • Wear clothing that covers skin
    • Be careful to wear light-weight, cool clothing if extreme temperatures are predicted
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes


  • Avoid sun exposure until healed
  • Apply cool cloths or take a cool bath
  • Apply moisturizing lotion 
  • Do not break blisters

City of Middletown Cooling Center Locations & Hours

  • City Hall Lobby: 245 deKoven Drive, Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
  • Middletown Police Department Lobby: 222 Main Street, Hours: 24hr/days
  • Middletown Senior Center: 61 Durant Terrace, Hours: Monday - Friday: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm, elderly residents only. 
  • Russell Library: 123 Broad Street, Hours: Monday - Thursday: 9 am - 8 pm, Friday & Saturday: 9 am - 5 pm. 

We advise checking with these facilities prior to travel. 


Extreme Heat
Calor Extremo
Heat Exhaustion vs Heat Stroke
Heat Safety for Pets
Heat Related Illness: CDC