Ways to monitor for heat-related illnesses

It is still safe to be outside, but people should be on the lookout for heat-related illnesses

Ways to avoid heat related illnesses.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With most of the country experiencing a heat wave this weekend, it’s no surprise that some of us could see a heat index of 100 degrees over the weekend.

During the extreme heat, many are going to be participating in road races, outdoor activities and even local downtown events. It is still safe to be outside, but people should be on the lookout for heat-related illnesses.

The Poland High School football team is in training, and practice goes on even when the temperature rises, and coaches are on the lookout for heat-related illnesses. On top of moving practices to the morning, when it is cooler, they also make each player weigh themselves during each practice. Every players’ weight is monitored over the course of the summer, and if the player loses close to 10 pounds of water weight, he will be pulled out of practice and monitored.

Each coach knows the first signs of heat sickness and what to do in a heat-related case. Head athletic trainer Kirstie Bournias-Zemba said the first sign that the body is overheating is that the player stops sweating. This can also be associated with cramping and exhaustion.

Once a player shows any signs of heat sickness, they are immediately taken off the field and given fluids. Bournias-Zemba explained that once a player is in the shade and resting, they monitor their sweating. If he does not start sweating in five minutes, parents are contacted and paramedics are called if no one can be reached immediately.

For the average person who will be involved in outdoor activities this weekend, Bournias-Zemba stresses the need to keep hydrated with plenty of fluids – staying away from caffeinated drinks or energy drinks. Caffeine can rob the body of needed water to stay hydrated while in the heat.

There are ways to watch your fluid intake.

Weigh yourself before your outdoor workout and again once you are done. Then, compare the two weights. If you lost more than 3 percent of your weight in a few hours, you are on the verge of dehydration. That means if you weigh 100 pounds, you shouldn’t lose more than three pounds.

The rest of the weight goes as such:

  • 100 lbs-  3 lbs of water weight
  • 133 lbs-  4 lbs of water weight
  • 166 lbs-  5 lbs of water weight
  • 200 lbs-  6 lbs of water weight
  • 233 lbs-  7 lbs of water weight
  • 266 lbs-  8 lbs of water weight
  • 300 lbs-  9 lbs of water weight

This chart is just a guideline. If you are beginning to cramp or become disoriented, please stop activities immediately and seek shade. If someone stops sweating for more than five minutes, consider calling EMS.

Please be safe this weekend and watch out for those around you, too.

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