8 Ways to Prevent Heat Related Illness

Lurking Sun with sunglasses8 Ways to Prevent Heat Related Illness

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages coaches, athletes, and those exercising outside in hot weather to know the warning signs for heat-related illness and take action when needed.

CDC estimates that, each year, there are almost 6,000 emergency department visits for sports and recreation heat illnesses. CDC says the most common activities leading to the hospital visits are football, and exercises such as walking, jogging, running, and calisthenics.  People who exercise in extreme heat are more likely to become dehydrated and get heat-related illness.

Extremely hot weather can cause illness or death, but all heat-related illnesses and deaths are preventable.

Here are 8 ways to act against heat-related illness:

  1. Stop all activity and get to a cool environment if you feel faint or weak.
  2. Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
  3. Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
  4. Pace activity. Start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually.
  5. Drink more water than usual and don’t wait until you′re thirsty to drink more.
  6. Have a workout partner. Monitor each other’s condition.
  7. Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  8. Seek medical care immediately if you or a teammate has any of the following symptoms of heat- related illness.

Muscle cramping might be the first sign of heat-related illness, and may lead to heat exhaustion or stroke. Here is how you can recognize heat exhaustion and heat stroke and what to do:

Heat Exhaustion Symptoms:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Weakness
  • Cold, pale, and clammy skin
  • Fast, weak pulse
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fainting
What You Should Do:

  • Move to a cooler location.
  • Lie down and loosen your clothing.
  • Apply cool, wet cloths to as much of your body as possible.
  • Sip water.
  • If you have vomited and it continues, seek medical attention immediately.
Heat Stroke Symptoms:

  • High body temperature (above 103°F)*
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Rapid and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness
What You Should Do:

  • Call 911 immediately — this is a medical emergency.
  • Move the person to a cooler environment.
  • Reduce the person’s body temperature with cool cloths or even a bath.
  • Do NOT give fluids.

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