An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Rapid Cooling for Heat Stroke

If a person is suffering from heat stroke, rapid cooling within 30 minutes can cut the risk of fatality from more than 50% to less than 5%. The following methods can help cool a person or reduce their heat intake until medical help arrives. Whenever you apply rapid cooling, it is important to request medical assistance immediately, continuously monitor the individual, and stop the cooling if the person begins to shiver.

When in doubt, chill them out!

Good Method

Wet Clothing

Wet clothing is a simple way to cool an overheated person. While the person is resting:

  • Give them water to drink
  • Remove any outer layers or unnecessary clothing, especially items likes belts, socks and shoes
  • Elevate their feet
  • Splash them with cool water while also fanning them and elevating their feet

Better Method

Ice Sheets

Ice sheets use ordinary bed sheets soaked in ice water to cool the person. Refresh the sheets with cold water every one to three minutes once the sheets warm up. 

Ice Packs

Ice packs can cool a person effectively when placed in the appropriate locations. If possible, use this method while using ice sheets. 

Best Method

Cold Water Bath

Cold water bath is the most effective cooling method, but it requires a tub, stock tank, or child’s pool half filled with water and ice. 

TACO Method

TACO method requires less equipment than the cold water bath and may be easier in the field, as it only requires a tarp and a water cooler. Place the individual on the tarp, have a few individuals hold the edges up, pour in ice water then use the tarp to slosh the water over the individual. 

Last Modified: Oct 24, 2023
Was this page helpful?
This page was not helpful because the content