If you haven’t thought of heat exhaustion as a potential KILLER, think again. It’s Hot out there, and although heat exhaustion is not considered a dire emergency, heat stroke is and the risk of death is real!
Heat stroke is a serious medical emergency in which the body’s cooling systems stop working and the core body temperature can rise to dangerous levels ( over 105 F ). So many cases are reported and unfortunately many have yet to recognize the risk and prevention factors regarding heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
Heat stroke is a medical emergency ( call 911 ).
Symptoms of heat stroke include hot, dry skin, lack of sweating, a very fast pulse, confusion and perhaps seizures or coma. If untreated, heat stroke can be a quick killer. The body will shut down and the victim will pass out. It happens to athletes as well and here it is termed “ exert ional” heat stroke.
In exert ional heat stroke, victims continue to sweat, despite the increased core temperature. For athletes, the diagnosis of heat stroke is made with a core temperature above 105 F and mental status changes, such as confusion, disorientation and clumsiness. He/ She may collapse and go into a coma if symptoms are ignored. If any of these symptoms of heat stroke are present, emergency treatment and cooling the patient immediately is essential. It is important to understand these symptoms even at a young age since many kids tend to push themselves during sports and are sometimes ashamed or afraid of going to the coach with complaints of heat illness. This is a SAFETY ISSUE. Coaches , Adults, Troop Leaders , and Any persons in charge must Drill the importance of reporting heat illness symptoms immediately in order to SAVE LIVES !
This article spawned from news of the recent death of a local 17 year old boy scout who over heated while hiking in 100 degree temperatures. He might have been saved if the symptoms were recognized and proper care given.
In addition ( see * arrested and charged with reckless endangerment ) Earlier this month two assistant football coaches were arrested after a student athlete collapsed during training. The student had been doing weight training and running in 93-degree weather, according to reports.
Even the most highly conditioned athletes can become victims of heat stroke if they don’t take special precautions when exercising in hot, humid weather.
“It appeared he was a little overheated and a little dizzy, so we sat him down, gave him some water and put his feet up and let him rest,” said scoutmaster Howard Crompton, who was leading the 17-year-old and two younger boys on the hike Saturday through Big Cypress National Preserve in the Everglades.
“Then he stopped breathing.”
ZION NATIONAL PARK–The body of a missing boy scout was found Thursday in a ravine off of a main trail in the Kolob Terrace section at Zion National Park
His body was found Thursday around 3:30 p.m. in a ravine off the Hop Valley Trail.
Officials have not released a cause of death, but have said the extreme heat could have played a role.
* arrested and charged with reckless endangerment http://us.lrd.yahoo.com/_ylt=AgBmesw5rpyLCfHxOMJrs8d0fNdF/SIG=11ad2026e/EXP=1283425073/**http%3A//abcnews.go.com/
- It’s not just about staying in the shade and drinking enough fluids, water is great and sport drinks are okay, but don’t rely on drinking only PRIOR to being exposed to heat; instead continue sipping fluids while outside.
- Avoid exercise during the hottest part of the day and use sunscreen to prevent burn which can limit skin’s ability to keep cool.
- Put ICE in your water bottle ( this has been proven to keep your core temp. 5 degrees lower on avg. than water w/out ice ),
- Wear light, loose clothing. Or wear clothes made with wicking fabrics such as CoolMax® which wicks moisture from your skin to the outer layer of the clothing where it can evaporate more easily. Respect your body’s warning signs.
- On very humid, hazy days the risk is even greater as this is when people most often get heat stroke.
- If symptoms begin; STOP activity and follow recommended treatment. When exercising in hot conditions and you feel a headache coming on, or you feel weak, dizzy or nauseated, stop exercising and seek a cool, shaded place.
- Hydrate well before and during exercise and replace lost electrolytes sodium, potassium magnesium with a sports drink (16 to 20 oz/hour).
- Take a cool shower or bath, put ice on yourself, jump in a pool, lake or river or find a garden hose and cool off.
- Cover with a blanket and if possible lift their legs 12 inches off ground.
- DO NOT let them sleep.
- GO TO EMERGENCY ROOM –