Florida Accident Prevention: The Heat Is On

by Carmen Dellutri on July 26, 2011

Sarasota personal injury lawyerExercising outside during Florida’s hot summer months poses an increased risk for heat-related sports injuries, particularly for young athletes. Between 1999 and 2003, there were 3,442 reported deaths resulting from exposure to extreme heat, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since heat stroke can be fatal, it is important to understand how to recognize, treat, and prevent heat-related sports injuries. We have summarized some of the most important information below.

Common signs of heat illness to look for include:

  • Chills
  • Dark colored urine
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Headaches
  • Thirst
  • Weakness

Heat stroke develops when heat exhaustion is left untreated and can ultimately result in death. Some of the symptoms of heat stroke include rapid heartbeat, dry and/or red skin, trouble breathing, unusual behavior, including hallucinations, confusion or agitation, seizure, and coma.

When you see any signs of heat illness or heat stroke, it is important to seek immediate medical assistance.

While you are waiting help, you can:

  • Move the athlete to a shaded area.
  • If you suspect heat stroke, cool the athlete rapidly using cold-water immersion. If immersion is not available you may use spray from a hose, cold water sponging or placing cold towels over the entire body.
  • Monitor body temperature.

Below are several ways to prevent dangerous heat-related sports injuries this summer:

  • Exercising during the morning or evening hours, when the temperature is lower.
  • Pacing yourself to allow the body to adjust to the hot temperatures.
  • Drinking sports drinks in order to replenish the salt and minerals in your body as you perspire.
  • Wearing lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Creating an alternative plan to exercise inside, out of the heat.
  • Quickly recognizing the signs of heat illness via direct monitoring of athletes by other players, coaches, and medical staff.
  • Monitoring the intensity of physical activity.
  • Scheduling an athletic trainer on site during events and practices to properly prevent and treat heat illnesses.

In addition to athletes, young children and the elderly are also at high risk for heat-related illness. For more information about extreme heat safety, you can visit the CDC’s website.

The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has suffered a Florida heat injury, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced injury attorneys for a free consultation.


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