Heat cramps is the least serious of the three types of heat emergencies. However, someone suffering from heat cramps can easily progress to the more serious condition of heat exhaustion. It is therefore important to be aware of the signs and take immediate first aid action.
Signs and Symptoms of Heat Cramps
- Painful involuntary, muscle contraction usually in the calves or abdomen.
- Sweating or moist skin.
- Tired, irritable, and thirsty.
First Aid for Heat Cramps
Being the least serious of the heat emergencies, it is quite easy to recover from heat cramps with some simple first aid techniques.
- Removing the person from the source of heat.
- Gently stretch/massage affected area.
- Slowly rehydrate with cool water, juice, or sport drinks.
- Rest for several minutes or even a couple of hours.
- Avoid alcohol and caffeinated drinks as they will worsen the condition by promoting dehydration.