Heat and humidity can be especially hazardous as student athletes begin to prepare for the upcoming fall season. The American Red Cross offers ways coaches can help keep players safe.
HEAT CRAMPS are muscle pains and spasms in the legs or abdomen. Heat cramps are an early sign of trouble, and athletes should inform those in charge if they are not feeling well. If someone is experiencing heat cramps, get them to a cooler place to rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and slowly replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes.
HEAT EXHAUSTION is a more severe condition signaled by cool, moist, pale or flushed skin; heavy sweating; headache; nausea or dizziness; or weakness and exhaustion. To treat heat exhaustion, move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths to the skin. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink slowly. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 911.
HEAT STROKE Heat stroke is a life-threatening emergency when someone is overwhelmed by heat and their body begins to stop functioning. Signs include hot, red skin that could be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 911 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. If possible, move the person to a cooler place and immerse them up to their neck in cold water. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.
KNOW FIRST AID Prepare for the unexpected with first aid training from the Red Cross. We offer both in-person classes and online training. Through our classes, you will not only learn how to perform first aid but have the confidence and skills to do it correctly. Learn more here.
You can also download the Red Cross First Aid app which puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips including heat-related emergencies. Download this app by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
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