2012-08-02 / Community News

Heat and Exercise Dangers

Before Texas shines its Friday Night Lights in the fall, thousands of high school students take to practice fields during the summer months. Last year, our state saw record days with triple-digit temperatures and at least two high school students died after hot summer football practices.

In addition, we covered more heat-related health issues at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas than ever before - 44,000, costing $22 Million. It’s no surprise that the National Weather Service says heat is the number one weatherrelated killer. It takes the lives of more people than floods, lightening, tornadoes and hurricanes combined. Even if this year doesn’t break records, Texans could still be reminded about how to stay safe when it’s hot.

“Heat Exhaustion” is usually one of the first conditions to arise and it can be characterized by heavy sweating, weakness, dizziness, fainting, vomiting and a fast heartbeat. Because prolonged exposure to heat increases risk, even a few hours of A/C can help. Also, drink 2-4 glasses of water each hour even if you’re not thirsty; wear light/loose clothes as well as sunscreen because sunburn limits your body’s ability to cool itself. Of course, outdoor exercise should be done early in the morning or late at night with frequent breaks. Hopefully with these simple tips, we can all enjoy the summer safely.

- by Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, Vice President, Chief Medical Officer for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.

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