Heat Injuries and Symptoms
The following are common types of heat injuries and their symptoms.
– Heat cramps-muscles cramps of the abdomen, legs, or arms.
– Heat exhaustion-headache, excessive sweating, dizziness, nausea, clammy skin.
– Heat stroke-hot, dry skin, cessation of sweating, rapid pulse, mental confusion, unconsciousness.
To prevent heat injuries while exercising, trainers must adjust the intensity to fit the temperature and humidity. They must ensure that soldiers drink enough water before and during the exercise session. Body weight is a good gauge of hydration. If rapid weight loss occurs, dehydration should be suspected. Plain water is the best replacement fluid to use. Highly concentrated liquids such as soft drinks and those with a high sugar content may hurt the soldier’s performance because they slow the absorption of water from the stomach.
To prevent heat injuries, the following hydration guidelines should be used:
– Type of drink: cool water (45 to 55 degrees F).
– Before the activity: drink 13 to 20 ounces at least 30 minutes before.
– During the activity: drink 3 to 6 ounces at 15 to 30 minute intervals.
– After the activity: drink to satisfy thirst, then drink a little more.