Preventing Heatstroke in Athletes

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Preventing Heatstroke in Athletes

As the Queensland summer is starting to warm up it is important that we take care of our health and look after ourselves when we’re out in the sun. Particularly for people who work outside, compete in sport or at risk of overheating due to a health condition, its important to understand everything about heatstroke.


What is heatstroke?

Heatstroke is a life threatening condition in which your body overheats and can no longer maintain a healthy temperature. It occurs most often in high temperatures and when the individual is dehydrated. Heatstroke is serious and often requires first aid to lower the body’s temperature. In fact, if not addressed quickly enough it can lead to organ failure and death.


What are the symptoms of heatstroke?

Heatstroke signs and symptoms include:

  1. High body temperature
  2. Flushed skin
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Headache
  5. Abnormal sweating
  6. Change in mental state and behaviour
  7. Increased breathing and heart rate


How can I do to avoid heatstroke?

  • Drink plenty of water, avoid alcohol and sugary drinks
  • Keep cool – try to stay in the shade where possible, wear a hat and wear breathable clothing
  • If possible avoid being out in the sun during the warmest periods of the day
  • Be in touch with your body and listen to any early signs of overheating


What should I do if I notice symptoms of heatstroke on myself?

  • Find somewhere cool to rest and cool down with a fan or air conditioning if available
  • Drink cold water of a sports drink
  • Have a cold shower or use cold packs
  • Take off excess clothing


What should I do if someone else appears to have heatstroke?

  • Call 000 if they are unconscious or symptoms persist
  • Give them cold water if they are conscious
  • Lay them somewhere cool to rest out of the run
  • Put them in cool water or a cool shower
  • Place cold packs on their body


If you are looking to learn more about high performance of sport within the summer months, get in touch with Pivotal Motion’s exercise physiologist team today. Our team of Exercise Physiologists will be able to discuss with you in more depth on how to manage your exercise. Book online or call us on 3352 5116.

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