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This is a friendly reminder from the Sports Medicine Team at OSTC to start acclimating to the Texas Heat!

Exertional Heat Illness is the leading cause of preventable death in high school athletics.  

drink water

Several different factors influence heat illness:

  • Highest incidence is among football players
  • Higher risk in high school athletes vs. college
  • Athlete hydration level
  • Access to cool area or shade
  • Previous illness (25% of athletes had pre-existing GI or Respiratory Illness)
  • Previous Heat Illness
  • LACK OF ACCLIMATION

It is suggested, that athletes start heat acclimation 3 weeks prior to the start of season.  Heat acclimation occurs when “repeated exercise-heat exposures are sufficient enough to invoke profuse sweating and elevation of whole-body temperatures.” To accomplish this athletes should exercise in the heat hard enough to produce heavy sweating, athletes should be exposed daily for about 90 min. 

hydration

Other factors that may help reduce the incidence of heat illness are:

  • Proper clothing-clothing should be light in weight and color
  • Avoid sugary, caffeinated or alcoholic drinks—these actually cause you to lose more body fluid. Also avoid very cold drinks, because they can cause stomach cramps.
  • Good Nutrition-  Eat healthy meals throughout the day.  Avoid fried foods or fast foods.