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How do I give first aid for heat cramps?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

If you have painful muscle spasms after activity done in the heat, start by resting and cooling down. Replenish fluids, preferably through clear juice or a drink with added electrolytes. Gently stretch and massage the affected area, and continue to rest for at least several hours afterward. If the cramps are still present after more than an hour, seek medical treatment.

Anyone suffering from heat cramps should stop what they are doing and move (or be moved) to a cool environment, such as a building or car with air conditioning. The person should be rehydrated with water or a sports beverage. Icing the affected muscles or stretching them can provide temporary relief. Seek medical attention for heat cramps if the symptoms do not improve or if they worsen.
(This answer provided for NATA by the Marist College Athletic Training Education Program.)

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.