Heat exhaustion and heat stroke: What to do when summer fun takes a serious turn

With temperatures ramping up Bozeman, these are signs of heat exhaustion you'll want to look out for.
Posted at 6:39 PM, Jul 08, 2024

BOZEMAN — Trails like the ‘M’ see plenty of foot traffic every day. And on hot days like Monday, we’re seeing how people beat the heat.

"We really can’t be out here like this in Texas; even though it’s warm for you guys, it still feels pretty good for us," says Otto Verjos, a hiker at the trailhead.

According to the CDC, extreme heat occurs when the temperatures reach abnormal levels—putting people at risk of heat exhaustion or stroke.

MTN meteorologists predict that Bozeman could see record-breaking heat by this Wednesday.

Here’s what some recreationists say works for them in the heat:

"Usually I’m wearing, like, shorts, have a sun shirt, hat, sunglasses, and water. A lot of water," says Solveig Anderson, another hiker at the trail.

Many recreationists agree. They say water is the way.

"Extra water. Water for the dog. Take plenty of breaks. We also wear hats and put on sunscreen before we go," says the Mcgee family.

"I always bring plenty of water, for me and Reggie. I’m bad about wearing sunscreen, I could be better about that," says Kat Marsh.

According to the CDC, sunburns can significantly decrease the body’s ability to release heat, and heat illness can strike quickly.

So, what do you do when you’ve got too much sun? How can you tell?

The CDC says symptoms can often begin as heat cramps, transitioning into heat exhaustion. Sufferers may feel dizzy. Nauseous and extremely thirsty.

The CDC recommends getting to shade, removing unnecessary clothing, and sipping water.

Verjos says, "Just take a stop. Sit in the shade for a while and regroup. Get some water and snacks."

If not addressed, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which officials say is a medical emergency.

In cases like this, the CDC says to soak skin with cool water, avoid chugging water, and call for help.

For more information on the signs of heat illnesses, visit the CDC website.