Dr. 0: Back to School health tips

(image: WPMI) Dr. 0: Back to School health tips


At risk when the heat index is over 90 degrees (which is almost daily during late spring/summer for us)

Need to drink one pint of water for each pound of weight loss from sweating.

Football player in pads during a summer workout can lose 5 pounds - needing to drink almost 3/4 gallon of water to replenish

Thirst is not a good guide for dehydration, rather the color of the urine (should be pale in color - not dark)

Avoid caffeine, soda drinks, during the days with high heat index.

Best to drink water early before going outside - tough to catch up after one is behind in fluids.

Heat Exhaustion:

Symptoms include headache, leg cramps, vomiting, elevated heart rate, dark colored urine

Should get in air conditioning, drink water, may need IV fluids, avoid excessive exercise for one week

Heat Stroke:

Often no sweating at all, dark urine or no urine, body temperature over 104 degrees

Mental confusion, risk of body and organ damage

Medical emergency, trip to the emergency room for treatment

Bottom line: drink early in the day, pale colored urine, avoid caffeine and the hot part of the day, be wary for days with a heat index over 90.

CONCUSSION: What is it?

A concussion is something that can happen with or without loss of consciousness

It can happen in virtually every sport, not just football

10% lose consciousness, 90% do not lose consciousness!

symptoms typically include: amnesia for the event, loss of physical strength, change in behavior, change in emotion loss of balance

players often have a headache, light bothers their eyes, vomiting

may go unrecognized 80% of the time!

How to Diagnose it?

Most of the time based on a high index of suspicion by the family, players or coach

CT head indicated for severe symptoms, vomiting, severe headache

Evaluation can be as rapid as ambulance to the ER for severe, or evaluation in an urgent care if less severe

How to treat it?

For Brief loss of consciousness: Usually of the game for one to two weeks.

Set standard rules for return based on school district, and state standards

Don't give Aspirin or non steroidal medication after a concussion - increased risk of bleeding (acetaminophen preferred!)

Player has to be completely symptom free for a period of time before return to sports

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