Heat Injury Awareness

Whether at practice or a game, our athletes push themselves to the limit, in the harshest conditions, repeatedly.  It’s important that as adults, we remain mindful, alert and responsive to the environmental conditions of the sporting event, and it’s potential impact on the young athlete.

In environments of elevated heat and humidity, the body’s ability to regulate it’s temperature becomes increasingly difficult.  When the body temperature increases too rapidly to sufficiently cool itself, the body is at a greater risk of a heat related injury.  When the body loses too much water or salt through the process of dehydration or perspiration, the body’s ability to regulate it’s temperature is severely weakened.

By taking proactive measures, you can greatly reduce the chances of dehydration or worse, heat-related injuries:

  • DRINK PLENTY OF WATER.  Do not give distilled water.
  • Have a designated cooldown location where there is shade, or air conditioning.
  • Have a tub large enough to submerge an adult waist high, sitting down.  Ice should be readily available to place in the tub, if treatment is necessary.  This can be highly effective in lowering body temperature in lieu of the arrival of emergency medical personnel.
  • Have a designated safety officer or professional at the event.
  • NEVER deny athletes water if they request it.
  • Take frequent water breaks.  The more extreme the heat, the more frequent the water breaks.

Other

There are two levels of heat injuries:  Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke.  Knowing the symptoms is paramount in identifying and treatment of the individual.  Athletes training often don’t pay attention to their own symptoms, so it’s important that coaches, parents, and staff members do on a proactive and persistent basis.

Symptoms

HEAT EXHAUSTION

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cool, pale, clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Possible muscle cramps
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting

Treatment:

Remove athlete from participation

Move athlete to your designated space immediely

Lay athlete down and loosen clothing

Apply cool, wet cloths to the body as much as possible

Offer SIPS of water.  Large amounts may induce vomiting

If person vomits, seek immediate medical attentio

HEAT STROKE

  • Athlete behaving abnormally, confused
  • Headache, confusion, nausea, dizziness, difficulty breathing
  • Body Temperature above 102 F
  • Hot, red or dry skin; lack of sweat on skin.
  • Elevated and strong pulse/heartbeat
  • Loss of consciousness

Treatmenet

Heat Strokes are LIFE THREATENING!  Immediately call 911 or get the victim to a hospital.

Move the victim to a cooler environment, use an ice tub if available.

Apply cool, wet cloths to the body as much as possible.

DO NOT give fluids