Types of Heat Illnesses

Heat stroke or heat exhaustion could affect athletes when they are subjected to high temperature for a long period of time. This could happen when athletes are not fully conditioned for practicing, competing or working out in high temperature environment. As an example, athletic athletes from countries near the Arctic Circle will need to be properly conditioned when they will to compete in a tropic country. Football and soccer players are vulnerable to heat exhaustion, but the problem can be particularly worse for football players, due to gears that they need to wear, both in competition and practice. It’s important for trainers and coaches to prepare athletes for the new environment. As an example, athletes should be instructed how to recognize symptoms and signs, which are related to heat illnesses. There are different types of heat illnesses. As an example, heat cramps happen to people who sweat profusely. This could happen during intense training that can take hours under direct sunlight. Due to excessive sweating, our body loses much sodium and moisture. Eventually, we start to experience cramps, due to muscles spasms in our arms, abdomen and legs.

Heat edema happens when we have swollen hands and feet during hot weather. It happens due to dilation of blood vessels, which cause noticeable swelling. When it happen, athletes need to immediately sit down and rest in the shade, preferably in a room with cool temperature. The person needs raise their feet and they shouldn’t do any kind of physical activity. Heat rash is a less serious form of heat illness, but it could be annoying. It is often happen for young athletes who perform for a long time under direct sunlight. It happens when our sweat glands are blocked, so much of the sweat stays under the skin. Heat rash is indicated by inflammation and redness. Heat stress happens when athletes are subjected to stressful situation, especially in hot temperature. People could get distressed if they are continuously subjected to high temperature. Heat stress is indicated by breathing problems, hyperventilation and muscle spasms. In a more serious case, heat exhaustion may occur and it can be prevented through correct methods. Coaches should be aware if athletes sweat excessively for a period of time. Other than water, athletes also lose some amount of salt.

Symptoms of heat exhaustion are headache, cramps, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, pale skin, fatigue, continuous sweating and fainting. When the condition isn’t properly addressed, the condition may get worse and athletes could suffer heat stroke. It’s a serious condition and in some case, could cause death. Impending heat stroke can be indicated by dry, red and hot skin, rapid pulse, high body temperature, nausea, rapid pulse, confusion, dizziness, unconsciousness and throbbing headache. The best way is to prevent heat illness and it is important to rest in cool area when our body has become overwhelmed by heat. Athletes also need to be well-hydrated, possibly 16 oz. of water during intense physical activity. High humidity may also worsen effects of high temperature

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