Health Check: Heat & Sports - A Dangerous Combination

This time of year there can be a dangerous combination: Hot weather and young athletes practicing in it. If we're not careful - it can turn serious. In this month's Health Check report, Serese Cole tells us what students need to do to stay safe in the heat.

These Fremont High sprinters know what laps around the track this time of year can do.

"Bryce Ewing, "It can tire you out, and you're sweating and you're dripping."
Gessica Gdowski, "You kind of feel light-headed sometimes."
Annie Wilson, "Honestly - it just gets really hot."

So hot - they could end up in the Emergency Room.

"It gets pretty busy - especially when football season starts, " said Fremont Area Medical Center's Emergency Department's Dr. John Hogue.

Dr. Hogue says heat exhaustion - can sneak up on even the most experienced athletes.

"It's a combination of over-exertion, not getting shade and no adequate oral intake or hydrating themselves." he added.

Helmets and pads don't help. The more gear you have on, the harder it is to cool down That's why it's important to know and pay attention to the warning signs.

Feeling weak, dizzy or sick to the stomach, sweating heavily, muscle cramps or even a fast heart beat are all signs you could have heat exhaustion.
Dr. Hogue says if you think some thing is wrong: Get out of the heat and in an air-conditioned building, remove any tight or unnecessary clothing and drink plenty of water.

Serese Cole, "But if those symptoms get worse like muscle cramps lasting more than an hour even after you've cooled off, persistent nausea and diarrhea, confused or disoriented - you need to get the emergency room right away."

Dr. Hogue, "These can end in a fatality - so we take this very. very seriously."

So do students.

"We'll drink Gatorade and water and then we wear light-colored clothing and just as loose clothing as we can," said Gdowski.

Good ways to make sure their summer training stays on track.

Dr. Hogue says staying hydrated is key.
Water and sports drinks are best- every 15 minutes if possible.
It's also important to get short breaks out of the sun and avoid caffeine- which only dehydrates you.
Finally, pay attention to the local meteorologist. When a heat warning or advisory is issued that means it's time to take extra precaution.

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