SYMPTOMS OF HEAT INJURY DURING
SUMMER IN WARM CLIMATES
Meg Barton, MS ATC/L CSCS
Certified Athletic Trainer
St. Joseph’s/ Candler Sports Medicine
St. Vincent’s Academy
Heat Fatigue or Exhaustion occurs when a person is exposed to high temperatures and/or humidity and perspires excessively without salt or fluid replacement. Heat Stroke can occur when a nonacclimatized person is suddenly exposed to high temperature and/or humidity. The thermal regulatory mechanism fails, perspiration stops, and the body temperature increases. Above 42 degrees C oral body temperature, brain damage occurs, and death follows if emergency measures are not instituted. Note: Normal temperature is 37 degrees C (98.6 degrees F).
SIGNS OF HEAT INJURY
Muscle cramps Excessive fatigue and/or weakness Headache
Loss of Coordination Decreased comprehension Dizziness
Nausea & vomiting Decrease reaction time
Heat Exhaustion Heat Stroke
Appearance Pale Flushed & Red
Skin Sweaty Dry
Pulse Weak Strong
Body Temperature Normal to subnormal Very High
Eye Pupils Dilated Constricted
Muscle Cramps & Spasm “Jelly-like”
Breathing Shallow Deep & Rapid
THE BEST TREATMENT FOR HEAT INJURY IS PREVENTION!!!!!!!!!!!
Note: The average mouth holds 3-5 ounces of water. Therefore to make sure that you
Are getting enough water--- you should drink at least one mouthful every 15-20
Minutes during exercise. More is needed in higher temperatures.
Avoid exercising in the hottest part of the day!
Change sweaty/wet clothes as often as able, allowing the skin to cool off.
- Remove as much clothing as possible.
- Telephone emergency squad.
- Cool as fast as possible (move to shaded area, ice towels, hose, swimming pool, etc.).
- Monitor sighs and symptoms (this includes changes in vital signs.