Heat Warnings from PSP

The National Weather Service has categorized this week’s hot and humid weather for Rock Hill, South Carolina as the highest category of danger in the Heat Index which is “Extremely Dangerous” and that “Heat Stroke or Sunstroke are likely (Not “possible” but ‘LIKELY’) for anyone with prolonged exposure outdoor and/or outdoor physical activity”.

And guess what? You’re doing both. So read on…

Hundreds of people die each year from exposure to heat. Our bodies dissipate heat by varying the rate and depth of blood circulation, by losing water through the skin and sweat glands, and as a last resort, by panting, when blood is heated above 98.6°F.

Sweating cools the body through evaporation. However, high relative humidity retards evaporation, robbing the body of its ability to cool itself. When heat gain exceeds the level the body can remove, body temperature begins to rise, and heat-related illnesses and disorders may develop.

This is what we need you to do:

1) No kids. Children ages 4 and under are especially vulnerable to overheating because their bodies do not adjust to temperatures as well as adults. We strongly advice parents to NOT bring children under the age of 4 or Senior Citizens to our event this weekend, due to the extreme heat.

2) No energy drinks and/or pop. Slam as much water as you can and remember to mix in Gatorade or Pedialite to replenish your electrolytes. When exercising in this level of heat you need to drink two to four glasses of cool, nonalcoholic fluids each hour. A sports beverage can replace the salt and minerals you lose in sweat.

3) Try to rest often in shady areas. If you begin to feel light headed, let someone know, lay down in the shade and have them bring you water and ice chips.

4) Wear a hat and sunscreen. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing a wide-brimmed hat (also keeps you cooler) and sunglasses and by putting on sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (the most effective products say “broad spectrum” or “UVA/UVB protection” on their labels).

5) Wear minimal clothing between games to provide greater skin surface area for heat dissipation. Wear lightweight, loose fitting, light colored clothing to reflect the sun’s rays. Wear clothing made of a material that absorbs water, such as cotton.

6) Let your teammates play. Know when to say ‘no’ and sit a point out. Use common sense to prevent heat stress and an ambulance ride to the Emergency Room.

And if it’s too late, this is what you’ll need to do…

Heatstroke is an emergency and requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms can include confusion, an altered mental state, unconsciousness and hot, dry skin. Call 911 but do not give fluids, which can cause seizures.

Heat exhaustion
This can include cramps, as well as heavy sweating, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, paleness, and breathing and heart-rate changes. People suffering heat exhaustion need to bring their body temperature down by going to a cool place out of the sun, removing excess clothing and placing cool (but not very cold) towels on the extremities. Parents can also mist children with water and fan them dry, give them small sips of water or sports drinks, or provide ice chips to suck on.

Be cautious not to drink too much, however. If symptoms don’t improve with these steps, seek medical help.

Heat cramps (stomach, arms or legs)
These are caused by electrolyte imbalances. Treat them by simply resting in a cool place and hydrating with a sports drink.

Sunburns diminish the skin’s ability to regulate temperature. If children are in pain, cool the skin with moist cloths. Be careful with cooling sprays, however, which often contain alcohol and can dry the skin even more. Take sunburned children to the doctor if they are under 1 year old or if they develop severe blisters. Never pop blisters or cover them in butter (an old folk remedy). To treat less serious blisters, people can use an ordinary, fragrance-free moisturizer.

Heat Rash
Some heat-related problems are more serious than others. Heat rashes are the least serious problem, appearing as red, pimply spots in areas that tend to sweat a lot, such as the chest or neck. People can treat a heat rash by cooling or powdering the area.

You’ve practiced, saved money and worked too hard to come to this point and lose an event because you didn’t get enough sleep the night before, weren’t eating/drinking correctly and are simply out played by a healthier team. PLEASE take these precautions seriously and make sure your teammates do as well!

Information provided by the National Weather Service