HEAT ILLNESS

March is National Athletic Training Awareness month. Therapy Center is providing several articles to increase awareness of the profession and to educate the public on common injuries that we see in our outpatient clinic. Enjoy!

Photo credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo credit FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The heat during the upcoming summer months can get pretty extreme. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of a heat related illness are important when it comes to athletes who are often participating in summer sports or practice.

Symptoms of a heat related illness include:

  • Chills
  • Dark colored urine
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

Athletes with respiratory, gastrointestinal, or other illnesses are at an increased risk for heat illness.  Drinking 16oz. of water is recommended one hour prior to exertion and throughout activity as long as exertion continues.  If bouts of exercise last more than one hour or if the athlete is engaged in multiple bouts throughout the same day, replacement fluid should contain carbohydrates, sodium, and potassium (all found in most sports drinks.)

 

TREATMENT TIPS:

  • Monitor weight prior to and after activity
  • Get to a shaded area
  • Cool the body rapidly using cold water (bath, spray, or cold towels placed all over the body)
  • Monitor body temperature
  • Provide cool beverages

If heat illness progresses, MORE SERIOUS SYMPTOMS can occur, these include:

  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Body temperature increasing to dangerous levels
  • Muscle cramps
  • Nausea
  • Tingling of the limbs

** The appearance of any of the above more serious symptoms may indicate that you have sustained a significant fluid loss and could require MEDICAL ATTENTION. For more information about our athletic training and outpatient services or to schedule an appointment, contact us today.

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Kristi Fredieu

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