Heat Illness and Concussion Management: Small Steps that Make A Big Difference

16 September 2016

Heat Illness and Concussion Management: Small Steps that Make A Big Difference

As we continue the conversation on National Campus Safety Awareness Month, we move our focus toward preventative measures regarding two common concerns within places of learning and higher education: heat illness and concussion management.

It’s not uncommon for campus communities to encourage and engage in activities that promote wellness and healthy lifestyles. And while this push is certainly beneficial, especially when compared to a not-so-healthy sedentary lifestyle, the potential for risk will increase with anything that’s physically engaging or exhaustive.

The following resources and information provide a wealth of valuable information on both of these topics.


Heat Illness Prevention:

When it comes to heat exposure, there are a number of preventative steps can be taken that will reduce the associated—and potentially fatal—risks.

Because of the nature of student athletics, those who participate are posed with a myriad of potential heat-related issues that could develop. It’s been proven that long, intense sessions of heavy physical activity do not pair well with high temperatures.

In fact, studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that student athletes, especially males, are met with the highest risk of suffering exertional heat illness.

Those who succumb to heat-related illness are faced with a number of nasty reactions ranging from heat rashes and heat cramps to much more serious conditions such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has provided a great resource on Heat-related Illnesses and First Aid. There is additional information on Occupational Heat Exposure and Heat Stress Prevention that’s very valuable and applicable to situations not unfamiliar to campus communities.

Additionally, The National Athletic Trainers’ Association has put together a thorough white paper looking at Exertional Heat Illness. In this, you will find best practice recommendations, key considerations and a number of preventative tips.

Finally, the team at Coach Safely have put together some powerful pieces touching on heat illness that should be reviewed.


Concussion Management:

The very real impact of sports-related concussions, especially on student athletes, can have lasting effects and—if not treated appropriately—can result in serious injury or death. That’s why it’s crucial to discuss and review the steps and protocols associated with properly handling a potential concussion. As illustrated below, there are plenty of solid resources on the topic of concussion management.

The Centers for Disease Control provides some great information within its Heads Up On-line Concussion Training.

There’s also AIG’s “aHead of the Game,” an initiative to raise awareness on the risks of concussions and other head injuries in youth sports, provides a variety of concussion resources, free educational materials, posters and more.

The University of the State of New York, State Education Department provides good Guidelines for Concussion Management in the School Setting, a valuable resource focused on campus environments.

Finally, the Nationwide Children’s Hospital offers a wealth of information on concussion management, including:


That’s it for this week’s conversation on National Campus Safety Awareness Month. We will return with even more information on this topic soon. Stay tuned and remember to #BCampusSafe.

 

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