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Fall 2019 Rec Soccer
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Overheating while exercising can be a dangerous condition.  It is important that coaches, trainers, athletes and parents be able to recognize the symptoms and take appropriate and quick action.   Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency.   Heat exhaustion is more common but can lead to heat stroke if not addressed in a timely manner.

Heat Exhaustion : Heat exhaustion is a heat-related illness that can occur when exposed to high temperatures, and it is often accompanied by dehydration.   Heat exhaustion is strongly related to the heat index, which is a measurement of how hot you feel when the effects of relative humidity and air temperature are combined.  The risk of heat-related illness dramatically increases when the heat index climbs to 90 degrees or more. 

  • The most common signs and symptoms of heat exhaustion include:
    • Confusion
    • Dark-colored urine (a sign of dehydration)
    • Dizziness
    • Fainting
    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Muscle or abdominal cramps
    • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea


  • Treatment for Heat Exhaustion:
    • Stop exercising
    • Remove person from source of heat - find a cool, shady location to recover
    • Drink plenty of fluid
    • Remove any tight or unnecessary clothing
    • Apply measures such as fans, cool water or ice towels
    • If such measures fail to provide relief within 15 minutes, seek emergency medical help.
    • Untreated heat exhaustion can progress to heat stroke
  • Preventing Heat Exhaustion:
    • Wear light weight clothing
    • Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more.
    • Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.
    • Take regular breaks from exercise when the heat index is high.

Heat Stroke : Heat stroke is the most serious form of heat injury and is considered a medical emergency.  If you suspect that someone has heat stroke -- call 911 immediately and give first aid until paramedics arrive

  • Signs of Heat Stroke:  
    • Core body temperature above  104 degrees
    • Fainting
    • Throbbing headache
    • Dizziness and light-headedness
    • Lack of sweating despite the heat
    • Red, hot, and dry skin
    • Muscle weakness or cramps
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Rapid heartbeat, which may be either strong or weak
    • Rapid, shallow breathing
    • Behavioral changes such as confusion, disorientation, or staggering
    • Seizures
    • Unconsciousness
  • First Aid for Heat Stroke:
    • Call 911 immediately
    • Remove clothing and have the person lie down
    • Elevate the feet slightly about 30 cm (12 inches)
    • Place a cold compress on the head, neck, groin and under the armpits
    • Use fans to cool down the body
    • If the person is awake you can place them in a cool (not cold) bath or if outside spray gently with a garden hose or other water source
    • If the person is awake give them sips of a salt beverage. Gatorade, or similar, or a teaspoon of salt in a 4 cups (1 quart) of water, drink half a cup every 15 minutes. Cool water is also acceptable
    • If muscle cramping is a problem massage the cramp gently until the muscle relaxes. Muscle cramps are extremely painful so be guided by the person as to how hard or gentle to be.
    • Watch for signs of shock (bluish lips and fingernails, loss of alertness)
  • Some DO NOTS:
    • DO NOT underestimate the seriousness of heat exhaustion and heat stroke especially in children.
    • DO NOT give a child or person aspirin or pain killers. These will not help.
    • DO NOT give salt tablets.
    • DO NOT give any liquids that contain alcohol or caffeine. These are diuretics and will hinder the body's ability to re-hydrate.
    • DO NOT use alcohol rubs on the body.
    • DO NOT give an affected person any liquids (including salt drinks) if the person is vomiting or losing consciousness.