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Heat Illness: Prevention and Treatment. Perry Baker Supervisor of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities. Dangerous Conditions. Heat Index – Know Temperature and Humidity Level Test Air with WBGT Heat Index Monitor 65-73 Moderate Risk 73-82 High Risk 82+ Very High Risk.

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heat illness prevention and treatment
Heat Illness: Prevention and Treatment

Perry Baker

Supervisor of Athletics and Extracurricular Activities

dangerous conditions
Dangerous Conditions
  • Heat Index – Know Temperature and Humidity Level
  • Test Air with WBGT Heat Index Monitor

65-73 Moderate Risk

73-82 High Risk

82+ Very High Risk

noaa s national weather service heat index
NOAA’s National Weather Service Heat Index

Courtesy of NOAA’s National Weather Service www.nws.noaa.gov

signs of dehydration
Signs of Dehydration
  • Dry mouth
  • Thirst
  • Irritable or cranky
  • Headache
  • Bored or disinterested
  • Dizziness
  • Cramps
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Not able to keep up
  • Dark yellow urine
other factors for illness from heat
Other factors for Illness from Heat
  • Low fitness levels
  • High body fat
  • Sickness
  • Previous dehydration or heat illnesses
  • Inadequate heat acclimatization
  • Salt deficiency
  • Medications/Dietary supplements
serious health risks
Serious Health Risks
  • Dehydration Can Result In:
  • Heat Cramps
  • Heat Exhaustion
  • Heat Stroke
  • Recognize Warning Signs of Heat Illness
heat cramps
Heat Cramps
  • Are a mild heat illness that can be treated easily.
  • Intense muscle spasms can develop after exercising and losing large amounts of fluid and salt from sweating.
  • Athletes who sweat a lot or have a high concentration of salt may be more likely to get heat cramps.
heat cramps1
Heat Cramps
  • Signs/Symptoms
    • Intense pain
    • Persistent muscle contractions
  • Treatment
    • Hydration (sports drink and/or water)
    • Possibly extra sodium
    • Stretching, relaxation, massage
heat cramps2
Heat Cramps

When can the athlete play again?

  • As soon as they are symptom free.
  • Important to continue to monitor.
  • May need to change eating and drinking habits, become more fit, or get better adjusted to the heat.
heat exhaustion
Heat Exhaustion
  • Is a moderate Heat Illness that occurs when an athlete continues to be physically active even after suffering from ill effects of the heat.
  • The body struggles to keep up with the demands, leading to heat exhaustion.
heat exhaustion1
Heat Exhaustion
  • Signs/Symptoms
    • Loss of coordination, dizziness or fainting
    • Dehydration
    • Profuse sweating or pale skin
    • Headache, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Stomach/Intestinal cramps or muscle cramps
  • Treatment
    • Shade or air conditioned area
    • Remove excess clothing and equipment
    • Lie comfortably with feet above heart level
    • If not nauseous, rehydrate with water or sports drink
    • Monitor heart rate, blood pressure, CNS status and core temperature
heat exhaustion2
Heat Exhaustion

When can the athlete play again?

  • Should not be allowed to return until all symptoms are gone.
  • Avoid intense practice in heat for a few days.
  • If received medical treatment, not until doctor approves and gives specific return to play instructions.
heat stroke
Heat Stroke
  • Is a severe heat illness that occurs when an athlete’s body creates more heat than it can release, due to the strain of exercising in the heat.
  • Results in rapid increase in core body temperature.
  • Can lead to permanent disability or death.
heat stroke1
Heat Stroke
  • Signs/Symptoms
    • Core body temperature 104°F+
    • CNS dysfunction
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    • Headache, dizziness or weakness
    • Hot & wet or dry skin
    • Increased heart rate, decreased blood pressure or fast breathing
    • Dehydration
    • Combativeness
  • Treatment
    • 911
    • Aggressive whole-body cooling (cold water immersion)
    • Fans/ice/cold towels over much of the body if immersion is not available.
heat stroke2
Heat Stroke

When can an athlete play again?

  • When the doctor approves and gives specific return to play instructions.
  • Parents should work with doctors to rule out or treat other conditions that may cause continued problems.
  • Should return very slowly under the supervision of health care professional.
  • Meet with prospective players and parents to educate them.
  • Discuss pre-season conditioning program
  • Avoid mid-day heat
  • Take regular breaks in shade
  • Slowly increase practice time and intensity
  • Pre-participation physical
  • Emergency action plan
  • ATC on site if possible.
activity guidelines
Activity Guidelines
  • 5-10 minute rest & fluid break after 25-30 minutes of activity
  • 5-10 minute rest & fluid break after 25-30 minutes of activity/should be in shorts & t-shirt with helmet & should pads.
  • 5-10 minute rest & fluid break after every 15-20 minutes of activity/shorts & t-shirt only.
  • Cancel or postpone all outdoor practices. Practice in air conditioned space.
acclimation to heat
Acclimation to Heat
  • Promote conditioning
  • Usually takes 10-14 days
  • Carefully observe athletes
  • Encourage athletes to drink before, during and after exercise
  • Take regular drink breaks in shade
  • Helpful Beverages: water and sports drinks with adequate electrolytes
  • Harmful Beverages: fruit juice, CHO gels, soda, sports drinks 8%+CHO, caffeinated drinks
monitor weight loss
Monitor Weight Loss
  • Athletes should weigh before and after practice
  • Check weight charts
  • Up to 3 percent weight loss through sweating is normal
use caution
Use Caution
  • Health and safety of our athletes comes before anything else
  • Recognize signs and symptoms
  • Be prepared for treatment

Heat Stress and Athletic Participation. National Federation of State High School Associations.16 July 2008. http:www.nfhs.org/web/2005/03/sports_medicine_heat_stress_and_athletic_participation.asp

How to Recognize, Prevent & Treat Exertional Heat Illnesses. National Athletic Trainers’ Association. 16 July 2008 http://www.nata.org/newsrelease/archives/000056.htm

Kendrick Fincher Memorial Foundation. 16 July 2008. http://www.kendrickfincher.org/index.htm

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service Heat Index. United States Department of Commerce. Chart. 23 July 2008. http://www.weather.gov/os/heat/index.shtml

Parents’and Coaches’ Guide to Dehydration and Other Heat Illnessess in Children. National Athletic Trainers’ Association. June 2003.


Preseason Heat-Acclimatization Guidelines for Secondary School Athletics. Journal of Athletic Training Volume 44 Number 3 June 2009. National Athletic Trainers Association


Recommendations for Hydration to Prevent Heat Illness. National Federation of State High School Associations. 16 July 2008. http://www.nfhs.org/core/contentmanager/uploads/heatstressflyers.pdf

Heat Illness: Prevention and Treatment. Lynn Carr. August 2008.