Hot and Humid Weather Can Cause Illness

HEAT ILLNESSES

Hot and humid weather cause heat illness in both athletes and non athletes. This can be prevented with adequate fluid intake, adjustment to heat, and normal dietary salt intake.

PREVENTION FOR HEAT CRAMPS, HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEATSTROKE:

Before exercising, drink 16 oz. (2 glasses) of fluid, during exercise drink 8 oz. (1 glass) every half hour, and after exercise drink 16 oz. of an electrolyte drink (i.e. Gatorade) for every pound of body weight lost; wear light colored and/or lightweight clothing. Do not drink alcohol, coffee, caffeinated drinks, or soda pop for fluid replacement; take time for rest and cool down.

Avoid exercise during the afternoon heat by working out in the early morning or late evening.

HEAT CRAMPS

Cause:

Inadequate adjustment to hot weather; heavy sweating; decreased blood levels of electrolytes; fluids and electrolytes not adequately replaced; unreplaced weight loss from previous workout/day; fluids and electrolytes not replaced adequately.

Signs and Symptoms:

Muscles in arms, legs and/or abdomen spasm uncontrollably, accompanied by heavy sweating.

Treatment:

Drink fluids; gently stretch and massage cramped muscles; rest in cool environment; apply ice to cramped area; watch for breathing or heart problems.

HEAT EXHAUSTION

Cause:

Extended exposure to hot and/or humid conditions; heavy sweating; fluids and electrolytes not replaced; unreplaced weight loss from previous workout.

Signs and Symptoms:

Skin cool, pale and moist; heavy sweating; headache; dizziness; poor coordination; mental dullness; enlarged pupils, nausea; vomiting; fatigue; weakness; thirsty; small urine volume (bright yellow color); possibility of unconsciousness.

Treatment:

Stop the activity and rest in a cool area; sponge with cool water and drink water. You need to replace weight loss with one pint of fluid for each pound of body weight. May require urgent medical care and transportation to a medical facility.

HEATSTROKE

Cause:

The body’s temperature control system stops working.

Signs and Symptoms:

The skin becomes hot, dry and red. There is no sweating. Onset of a rapid pulse, confusion, dizziness, unconsciousness, and body temperature can be as high as 104 to 106 degrees.

Treatment:

This requires immediate emergency medical care. Place the body in a tub of ice water, use ice cloths with a fan blowing on the skin. The victim should be transported to a hospital and may need CPR.

Request an appointment with the professionals at South Carolina Sports Medicine if you’re experiencing pain or are dealing with an injury. Call or text us at (843) 572-2663 for more information about our services.
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