Heat Cramps

Heat cramps are a form of muscle cramp brought on by exertion and insufficient salt caused by profuse sweating. These painful muscle spasms are common in athletes and laborers often at the end of a cool-down period after a workout, or at the end of the workday. Children are also quite susceptible to heat cramps when they have not been drinking enough water while they are active on hot days.  It is important to replace the salt and fluid balance in your body and stretch the muscle to relieve the cramp. Kneading and pounding the muscle while it is in spasm is less effective than stretching.

Signs and Symptoms:

  • Muscle contractions in the legs, arms, and/or abdomen  
  • Heavy perspiration  
  • Lightheadedness, weakness


  • Stop all activity  
  • Move to a cool place  
  • Drink water, clear juice, or a sports drink  
  • Massage and stretch the muscle that is cramping

Return to the Safety Resource Center