As some of the hottest days of the year approach, it is important that we know the signs of heat exhaustion and heat strokes. Knowing these signs will help you keep yourself and others safe.

Signs of heat exhaustion can be dizziness, sweating, cool clammy skin, vomiting, a rapid pulse, and muscle cramps. Signs of the more serious heat stroke are throbbing headache, no sweating, red dry skin, vomiting, and strong pulse. You could also lose consciousness.

Muscatine Paramedic Joe Timmson gives tips to avoid heat exhaustion and heat stroke before they happen. Doing things as simple as drinking plenty of water can keep your body cool and fully hydrated so you are less likely to overheat.

“Avoid the hottest part of the days,” Timmson says. For example, if you are planning on mowing your lawn, do it early in the morning or late at night to avoid the hottest parts of the day. Another simple way to avoid heat exhaustion or stroke is to avoid wearing dark heavy clothing. In addition to dressing cool, be aware of what kind of colors you are wearing as the sun is attracted to dark colors.

It is not uncommon for people to experience heat stroke or heat exhaustion in hot weather conditions, so it is important, when you see these signs, to not take them lightly and seek help immediately. If you are suffering of heat exhaustion, you can go into air conditioning or take a cool shower to let the heat escape from your body. If you or someone you are with is suffering from a heat stroke, call 911 immediately and try to cool the person down until help arrives.