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Heat Illness- How far we have come, but still a lot of work to do!

This is a great article on the legacy of Korey Stringer.

As we still lose many athletes especially at the high school level to preventable heat illness deaths what do you do as an AT in your community to increase awareness and help to create change?

What protocols do you follow to ensure proper education, prevention, and treatment of heat illness' are occurring?
Anna J. Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT


  • Hi Anna

    As an AT in high school I believe it is important to talk a lot about it with the athletes to increase awareness. If they are aware of the risks they will also be more careful.

    But I think the first step as a trainer is to be aware of the temperature but also of the humidity at the training location because the greater the humidity the more difficult it is for the body to cool itself. It is important in any case to know the emergency procedures in order to be able to react very fast. It is also important to have some shaded areas around.

    I would recommend to the athletes to repeat exercise-heat exposures few times a week in order to acclimate them with the heat. The athletes should initiate competition and training in a euhydrated state and minimize dehydration during exercise. It is important to make sure that the athletes drink enough before/during and after the training!

    Cooling systems can easily be found and they should be used strategically in order to facilitate heat loss or increase heat storage capacity before training or competing in the heat.

    I also allow additional/longer recovery periods during trainings for hydration and body cooling.
  • Hi Jim,
    Thanks for responding. I too feel that educating the athletes is key!

    Do you use a WBGT to measure the heat index? Do you have authority to change practices work to rest ratios or times based on the heat index? Are your coaches supportive? I am curious to hear what your experiences are.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Anna J. Hartman MS, ATC, CSCS, PMA-CPT
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