July 8, 2008
Weekend Athletes at Risk for Heat Illness
More and more, young adults are among those in emergency rooms for heat-related illnesses -- especially weekend warriors, a U.S. doctor says.
Dr. Paul Pepe of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas saysrising temperatures make it paramount to keep the old and the young cool and well-hydrated, but young adults, especially week-end warriors -- need to take precautions to avoid heat stroke and heat exhaustion.
In the past, the typical people we saw were the ones who couldn't fend for themselves -- the very young and the very old, Pepe says in a statement. Now, young men and women who work in super-cool office environments and spend the weekends playing outdoors are getting into trouble because their bodies haven't had a chance to adapt to the hot weather.
To avoid joining the parade in emergency rooms for hot weather-related illnesses, Pepe advises:
-- Wear lightweight, loose-fitting and light-colored clothing.
-- Stay in a well-ventilated area, even if working indoors.
-- Drink water. Avoid too much sugar and caffeine.
-- Avoid alcohol; a cool beverage might sound good but it only dehydrates and impairs a person's ability to recognize danger signs.
-- Use a buddy system to keep an eye on one another.