Preventing Heat-Related Illnesses
Heat illnesses and Emergencies
There are many factors which contribute to heat illnesses. It occurs when an individual is exposed to extreme temperatures and humidity; in that scenario, the body is unable to cool down and is dehydrated. At the onset of heat illness, it is more difficult for an athlete’s body to properly cool down itself and function deteriorating his or her performance.
Types of Heat illnesses
They are broadly classified into 3 categories:
1. Heat cramps: This type of cramp is tightening and spasms experienced in large muscle groups (e.g. quadriceps, hamstrings, etc.). It is often followed by heavy sweating and large fluid losses which may because white residue on clothing, skin or equipment.
2. Heat Exhaustion: Signs and symptoms include extreme sweating, dehydration, fatigue, lightheadedness, rapid pulse rate, low blood pressure and slightly elevated body temperature.
3. Heat Stroke: Signs and symptoms include high body temperature around 40 °C or higher- red, dry or moist skin, nausea, vomiting, lower concentration power, loss of consciousness, shallow breathing, weak pulse, mild shock, convulsion and possible death.
Causes of Heat Emergencies
Primary factors of heat-related emergencies are:
- Heat and high humidity
- Extreme physical exertion
- Layered or rubberized clothing
- Decreased fluid intake
BE CAREFUL NOT TO FALL IN THE TRAP OF HEAT ILLNESS!!