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Heat-Related Sports Injuries in Massachusetts a Serious Threat to High School Athletes

We’ve seen 100-degree temperatures in all four corners of the United States during this summer. As a result, there have been a number of heat-related sports injuries in Massachusetts and elsewhere throughout the country, especially to high school athletes.

As many people expect, heat-related illnesses play a large role in sport-related deaths. This year has witnessed the most heat-related deaths in one season since 2006, according to Max Preps.
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Our Boston sports injury attorneys understand that this is not a good sign considering we’ve barely broken into the sporting season. Parents and players are urged to be extra careful out there on the field as these heat-related injuries can seemingly sneak up on you if you’re not careful. Luckily, there are several safety measures that you can take to help avoid one of these accidents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 7.5 million students that participate in high school sports every year. With the popularity of outdoor sports, it’s no surprise that heat illness is the number one cause of death and injury in the United States among high school student athletes. From 2005 to 2009, there were 100 schools used in a study to monitor these types of injuries. Of the sampled schools, there were nearly 120 reported heat-related illnesses among athletes. This means that nearly 2 students for every 100,000 student athletes suffered from a heat-related illness during a sporting event during the study. There was an estimated 9,500 heat-related illnesses in schools across the nation during the study.

Football players were most commonly the victims of this type of illness as they averaged about 4.5 for every 100,000 athlete-exposures. This is a rate that is roughly 10 times greater than the average rate for all of the other sports.

Athletes are most likely to fall victim to a heat-related injury during the month of August. More than 66 percent of these accidents typically occur during this time.

Here are some signs that you might be experiencing a heat-related injury:

-A high body temperature, usually above 103-degrees Fahrenheit, when measured orally.

-Hot, red and dry skin. You will also notice no sweating.

-A quick, strong pulse.

-A headache.

-Dizziness or a feeling of being nauseous.

-Confusion.

-Becoming unconsciousness
How to help a person who may be experiencing a heat-related injury:

-Get them to an area that is shaded.

-Cool them as quickly as possible in whatever way you can. Get them in a cool shower or in a tub of cool water. You can also spray them with cool water from a nearby hose.

-Keep an eye on their body temperature. Make sure that you get it down to at least 101-102°F.

-If you don’t receive timely medical response, call 9-1-1 for additional instructions.

If you have been injured in a sporting accident in Massachusetts, contact Boston Injury Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 877-617-5333.

More Blog Entries:

Specific Therapy Proves to Increase Recovery in Traumatic Brain Injury Patients, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, March 24, 2011

Massachusetts sporting accidents a leading cause of concussions and Traumatic Brain Injury, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, November 1, 2010